Tuesday, July 11, 2023

PA Superior Court Rules That 75 Pa.C.S.A. Sections 1716 and 1718 Do Not Support Award of Attorney's Fees in Peer Review Cases

In the case of Turnpaugh Chiropractic Health & Wellness Cr., P.C. v. Erie Ins. Exch., No. 1448 MDA 2021 (Pa. Super. June 8, 2023 Stevens, P.J.E., Bowes, J., McCaffery, J.) (Op. by Stevens, P.J.E.)(Bowes, J, Concurring), the Pennsylvania Superior Court affirmed in part and denied in part a trial court’s entry of judgment in favor of a chiropractor in a first party peer review case.   

In this case, the insurance company appealed a judgment in favor of the chiropractor and an award of attorney’s fees. 

According to the Opinion, the insurance company had repriced the chiropractor’s invoices and referred the chiropractor’s bills to a peer review. 

The Superior Court found that the trial court had erred in allowing the chiropractor’s expert to testify on matters outside the scope of an expert report.

In what may be a case of first impression, the Superior Court additionally found that the trial court had erred in awarding the chiropractor attorney’s fees under §1716 and §1798 because there was no statutory authorization for an award of attorney’s fees when an insurance company invokes the peer review process.   

Anyone wishing to review a copy of this decision may click this LINK. The Concurring Opinion by Judge Bowes can be read HERE.

I thank attorney Candace Edgar of the Camp Hill, PA office of Margolis Edelstein for bringing this case to my attention.

Source of image: Photo by Kenny Eliason on www.unsplash.com.

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