An HMO cannot remove a medical malpractice lawsuit to federal court on ERISA preemption grounds merely because the plaintiff alleges that the insurer established “disincentives” to providing proper care since such a claim focuses on the quality — not the quantity — of care, a federal judge has ruled.
In his 12-page opinion in DeLucia v. St. Luke’s Hospital et al., U.S. District Judge Robert S. Gawthrop III found that Aetna U.S. Healthcare had not proven that the plaintiffs’ claims were completely preempted by ERISA and therefore remanded the case to the Court of Common Pleas of Northampton County.
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