An Illinois state judge ordered a trial for an uninsured-billing lawsuit against Advocate Health Care, Oak Brook, Ill., and set a March 28 status hearing, rejecting Advocate's request to dismiss six counts. Cook County Circuit Court Judge Barbara Disko ruled that the uninsured plaintiffs in the 2003 suit might have a cause of action under the state Consumer Fraud Act. In her ruling, Disko said, "This court does not believe that charging plaintiffs almost twice as much as that charged to an insured person should be allowable." The plaintiffs accused Advocate of unjust enrichment, breach of contract and fraud in its pricing and collection policies. Advocate argued that the claims in the plaintiffs' third amended complaint should be dismissed under the doctrine of res judicata, which prohibits parties from relitigating matters already decided. An Advocate spokesman said the system was deciding whether to appeal. -- by Mark Taylor
Ill. judge orders uninsured-billing suit to trial
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