NWKT attorneys Tom Kendrick and Bains Fleming recently secured a defense verdict for their clients after a five day jury trial in Jefferson County, Alabama.
The plaintiff, a health care provider that treated eating disorders, filed suit against two defendants—a managed care company and another eating disorder treatment center. The managed care company administered a provider network for psychiatric services on behalf of a major health insurance company under a capitation arrangement. The managed care company contracted with a eating disorder treatment center—run by its sister company—which prior to the plaintiff’s opening, operated the only partial hospitalization program for eating disorders in the state of Alabama. The plaintiff’s treatment center was excluded from the provider network.
The plaintiff claimed the defendants were guilty of tortious interference with business relations, fraud, defamation, breach of contract, and conspiracy. The fraud claims were disposed of through a motion to dismiss, while the defamation and breach of contract claims were dismissed on motions for summary judgment. The remaining claims of tortious interference with business relations and conspiracy went to trial.
The case was tried for five days before a Jefferson County jury, and the plaintiff claimed $1,500,000 in compensatory damages for lost profits and $3,000,000 in punitive damages. The jury deliberated for four and a half hours and returned its unanimous verdict in favor of the defendants. Both defendants were represented by Thomas A. Kendrick and W. M. Bains Fleming, III of Norman, Wood, Kendrick & Turner.