Marshfield (Wis.) Clinic has become the target of a third class-action lawsuit accusing it and others of conspiring to eliminate competition in north-central Wisconsin's healthcare market.
The suit in U.S. District Court in Madison, Wis., was filed last month on behalf of Kathleen Malek of Woodruff, Wis., other patients and the state Department of Health and Family Services.
It accuses the clinic, a subsidiary and others of charging artificially high prices.
The suit is the third filed by consumers since Blue Cross and Blue Shield United of Wisconsin won an antitrust verdict in January 1995 against the clinic and its Security Health Plan HMO.
Marshfield Clinic attorney Reed Hall said he wasn't surprised that the clinic is facing three lawsuits following the Blues case.
"I think they are all trying to piggyback on a liability finding," Hall said.
Hall said he would ask U.S. District Judge Barbara Crabb to dismiss the suit.