A plaintiffs' attorney in class-action lawsuits against not-for-profit hospitals filed a motion to consolidate the cases in a single federal court. Forty cases have been filed so far in 21 states. A five-page motion filed Monday with the federal Judicial Panel on Mutidistrict Litigation in Washington argued that consolidating the cases would reduce litigation costs, prevent conflicting rulings and allow cases to proceed more efficiently. "All not-for-profit hospitals claim the same tax-exempt status, and all are governed by the same implicit obligation of serving the poor and uninsured," said the motion, written by George Bellas of the Clifford Law Offices, Chicago, which filed actions against three Illinois hospital systems. A spokesman for one of the defendants, Advocate Health Care, Oak Brook, Ill., said the system was reviewing the motion. -- by Mary Chris Jaklevic
Plaintiffs seek to consolidate suits over uninsured
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