A federal judge in Los Angeles threw out five lawsuits that celebrity legal crusader Erin Brockovich filed against hospital and nursing home companies she claimed overbilled Medicare. Brockovich didnt have the legal standing to file the lawsuits, according to U.S. District Judge David Carter, who dismissed cases against HCA, HealthSouth Corp., Kindred Healthcare, Promise Healthcare and Vanguard Health Systems. The cases were dismissed with prejudice, meaning Brockovich cannot refile them in federal court, although she can appeal. A call left for Brockovich seeking comment wasnt immediately returned. Brockovich sued more than 30 California hospitals and nursing homes or their corporate owners earlier this year, arguing that the facilities improperly billed Medicare millions of dollars to pay for follow-up treatment of patients who were the victims of neglect or medical mistakes. A hearing on motions to dismiss more than two dozen other lawsuits is scheduled for Nov. 7 in federal court in Santa Ana, Calif., said attorney Mark Johnson, a San Diego attorney who represents some of the defendants. -- by the Associated Press
Judge tosses some Brockovich suits
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