The opinion of the court was delivered by: McGARR, Chief Judge.
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
This is a class action against the City of Chicago, the
Chicago Board of Health, and officials of the Board of Health.
The complaint is based on 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and 28 U.S.C. § 2201
and alleges violations of Title V of the Social Security Act,
42 U.S.C. § 701 et seq. (1981), the regulations issued
pursuant thereto, the Illinois State Plan for Maternal and
Child Health, and the due process and equal protection clauses
of the fourteenth amendment. Jurisdiction is alleged under
28 U.S.C. § 1331, 1343(3) and (4). Plaintiffs seek a declaratory
judgment, an injunction and damages.
Two motions now pend before the court. Plaintiffs have moved
for summary judgment pursuant to Rule 56 of the Federal Rules
of Civil Procedure on the basis that there is no genuine issue
of material fact and they are entitled to judgment as a matter
of law. Defendants have moved to implead nine third party
defendants. For the reasons discussed below, defendants'
motion to implead third party defendants is denied and
plaintiffs' motion for summary judgment is granted.
In this case, all of the plaintiff class members were
evaluated by the Chicago Board of Health and were found to
meet the "high risk" pregnancy criteria. Thus, they were
determined to be eligible for free hospital delivery services
under Project 502. They were all assigned to and received care
at Cook County Hospital. Project 502, however, did not pay
their medical expenses. The Chicago Board of Health refused to
pay the bills of any Project 502 participants who received
care at Cook County Hospital because it claimed that it had an
agreement with Cook County Hospital that Project 502
participants would not be charged. Plaintiffs brought this
action to recover damages incurred as a result of defendants
refusal to pay their expenses and for declaratory and
Motion to Implead Third Party Defendants
Defendants have moved to implead nine additional parties:
(1) Cook County, (2) Cook County Hospital, (3) Elliot C.
Roberts (Director of Cook County Hospital), (4) State of
Illinois, (5) Illinois Department of Public Health, (6)
William Kumpiners (Director of Illinois Department of Public
Health), (7) United States of America, (8) Department of
Health and Human Services ("HHS"), and (9) Margaret Heckler
(Secretary of HHS). Defendants argue that because of these
parties' roles in the administration of Project 502, this case
cannot be properly resolved in their absence.
Plaintiffs oppose defendants motion to implead these third
party defendants. They contend that: (1) defendants have not
justified their delay in bringing the motion; (2) impleading
third party defendants could substantially delay and prejudice
the resolution of this action; (3) the addition of third party
defendants will not serve judicial economy or the convenience
of the parties; and (4) defendants have failed to state causes
of action against any of the third party defendants.
Rule 14 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure provides
that a third party complaint may be filed by a defendant
against any person "who is or may be liable to him for all or
part of the plaintiff's claim against him." A motion for leave
to file a third party complaint is addressed to the sound
discretion of the trial court. Farmers & Merchants Mutual Fire
Insurance Co. v. Pulliam, 481 F.2d 670 (10th Cir. 1973). The
timeliness of the motion, as well as the reasons for delay, are
among the factors to be considered in determining whether leave
to file the third party complaint will be granted. See Kopan v.
George Washington University, 67 F.R.D. 36 (D.C. Cir. 1975).
Motions presented on the eve of trial or those that will delay
the trial are generally denied. See e.g. Handlos v. Litton
Industries, Inc., 51 F.R.D. 300 (E.D.Wis. 1970), Orton v.
Molkentin, 68 F.R.D. 678 (E.D.Wis. 1975). Late motions may also
be denied if they will prejudice the plaintiff or result in a
proliferation of the issues. Kopan v. George Washington
University, 67 F.R.D. 36 (D.C. Cir. 1975).
Further, the court is convinced that the addition of nine
additional parties will significantly delay the disposition of
this action. Clearly, it will necessitate further discovery
and will introduce new issues into the case. This delay is
especially unfair to plaintiffs in light of the fact that they
have already completed discovery and have filed a motion for
summary judgment. Therefore, for the foregoing reasons,
defendants' motion to implead third party defendants at this
time is denied.
Motion for Summary Judgment
Plaintiffs' action challenges defendants' refusal to pay
their medical bills from Cook County Hospital on several
bases. First, plaintiffs contend that defendants have violated
Title V of the Social Security Act and the regulations issued
pursuant thereto which require recipients of federal Title V
funds to reimburse eligible women for medical care. In
addition, they contend that defendants have violated similar
provisions in the Illinois State Plan for administering
Project 502 funds. They have also presented two constitutional
challenges to defendants' conduct. First, they contend that
denying payment of medical expenses of Project 502
participants who receive care at Cook County Hospital, while
reimbursing participants who receive care at other hospitals,
violates the equal protection clause of the fourteenth
amendment. Second, they argue that defendants' lack of written
procedures and failure to provide notice and an opportunity to
be heard violates the due process clause of the fourteenth
Plaintiffs have moved for summary judgment on all bases. The
court will consider plaintiffs' statutory claim first so that
the constitutional issues need not be reached unnecessarily.
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