Friday, June 19, 2020

Claims for Treble Damages and Attorney's Fees Dismissed in PRO Case

In the case of Stoner v. Erie Ins. Exchange, No. 2019 - CV -6978 (C.P. Dauphin Co. June 11, 2020 Cherry, J.), the court granted the carrier’s motion for partial judgment on the pleadings and dismissed a Plaintiff’s claims for treble damages and attorney’s fees in a PRO case.

According to the Opinion, this matter involved a PRO case filed by a chiropractor in Dauphin County. The chiropractor sought the payment of its medical fees from this First Party carrier after the medical benefits were stopped following a peer review. The chiropractor asserted that the peer review process was improperly instituted by the carrier. The Complaint also sought attorney’s fees and treble damages. 

The carrier filed a Partial Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings seeking to dismiss the claims for attorney’s fees and treble damages. The carrier asserted that, as a matter of law, a plaintiff cannot recover treble damages or attorney’s fees based upon the carrier’s decision to implement the peer review process.

The Plaintiff claimed, in part, that such damages were recoverable because he was seeking them based upon the carrier’s conduct before the PRO referral. 

The trial court judge in this Stoner case reviewed other cases on the issues presented and, despite the fact that another judge of the same Dauphin County Bench had previously ruled differently, decided to grant the carrier’s motion and thereby dismissed the claims for treble damages and attorney’s fees.
Anyone wishing to review this decision may click this LINK

I send thanks to Attorney Candace N. Edgar of the Camp Hill, PA office of Margolis Edelstein for bringing this case to my attention.

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