Bay County's fraud and conversion verdict against Blue Cross is thrown out by Court
Bay County sued Blue Cross Blue Shield, arguing that it fraudulently added nearly a million dollars to the County's health care cost through hidden fees. One year after this 2011 verdict, a similar case brought by Calhoun County against BCBS was thrown out by judges of the Court of Appeals. When the Blue Cross appeal in this case reached the higher court, the jury's verdict was set aside, with the judges holding that the Calhoun County case controlled the outcome.
The judges essentially disagreed with the jury's finding that the Blue Cross contract under which the fees were charged did not empower Blue Cross to add on the disputed expenses. The judges in the Calhoun County case had ruled that the contract authorized Blue Cross to deduct the charges and that County authorities could have identified them in its billings if they had asked Blue Cross for its formula.
Obviously, the Bay County jury did not consider that the contract allowed Blue Cross to impose these unidentified charges and deemed Blue Cross's actions to be fraud or conversion. Equally obviously, the Republican Justices nominated and elected to Michigan's appellate courts will allow insurance companies to engage in behavior that ordinary people deem abusive.