An Outliers item in the March 22 issue ("No winners," p. 48) did a nice job of showing that big jury awards usually shrink significantly once the appeals process has been exhausted. The item used the example of Blue Cross and Blue Shield United of Wisconsin, which filed an antitrust lawsuit against Marshfield (Wis.) Clinic. A federal judge recently ended the lawsuit with an injunction against the clinic after an appeals court threw out most of a multimillion-dollar jury award against the facility.
Unfortunately you missed the mark with your observation that there were no winners in the case. The story mentioned that the Blues received $799,117, or 15% of its attorneys' fees. According to my math, the lawyers for the Blues earned more than $5 million. I'm sure the clinic's legal costs were substantial as well.
There definitely were winners in this case. As always, they were the lawyers. If this isn't a convincing argument to find another way to resolve disputes, I don't know what is.
Chief executive officer
Cobre Valley Community Hospital