HMOs Cannot Recover from Tobacco Industry Costs of Treating Members' Smoking-Related Illnesses

Group Health Plan, Inc. v. Philip Morris USA, Inc., 344 F.3d 753 (8th Cir. 2003); 12(38) BNA's Health Law Reporter  1472-73 (Sept. 25, 2003)

The Eighth Circuit ruled health maintenance organizations (HMOs) cannot recover from tobacco companies the costs of treating its subscribers' tobacco-related illnesses. Four Minnesota HMOs had sued several tobacco manufacturers and associated groups, alleging the tobacco industry conspired to mislead the public and the health care industry regarding the addictive effects of tobacco use and that the HMOs suffered indirect injury because they were required to assume the medical costs their members sustained as a result of their tobacco use. The court determined the HMOs failed to provide adequate evidence of the damage they suffered in paying for smoking-related illnesses because their expert witness presented only a "speculative" calculation of the costs they incurred....

Found in DMHL Volume 23 Issue 1