TEXAS SUPREME COURT DENIES PETITION FOR REVIEW OF ORDER DENYING DISMISSAL OF CLAIMS BROUGHT BY AN AUTO INSURER AGAINST MEDICAL PROVIDERS

February 27, 2012

Last Friday, the Texas Supreme Court denied a Petition for Review filed by two doctors and other entities providing medical services.  The medial providers were seeking review of the decision by a Houston Court of Appeals in Shanti v. Allstate Insurance Company, 356 S.W.3d 705 (Tex.App. – Houston [14th Dist.] 2011, pet. denied), which affirmed the denial of a motion to dismiss brought by the medical providers.  A report on this decision was included in our November 8, 2011 edition of Texas Insurance Law Newsbrief.

Briefly, the pending lawsuit against the medical providers was filed by Allstate entities alleging causes of action for fraud, conspiracy, unjust enrichment, and claiming damages resulting from settlements paid in reliance on false billing and other records prepared by the medical providers and relied upon by the insurers.  The medical providers sought dismissal of the lawsuit under the Texas Medical Liability Act (TLMA) because the insurers did not timely file an expert report under the TMLA in support of their claims.  The court of appeals rejected the medical providers’ arguments that Allstate’s claims are health care liability claims recast as fraud, conspiracy and unjust enrichment and held that Allstate was not a claimant under the TMLA subject to its report requirements.