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Stock v. Integrated Health Plan

March 15, 2007

ANN M. STOCK, ET AL., PLAINTIFFS,
v.
INTEGRATED HEALTH PLAN, INC., DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Donald G. Wilkerson United States Magistrate Judge

ORDER

This matter is before the court on the Motion to Quash Subpoenas filed by Richard C. Coy, Coy Chiropractic Health Center, and Ann M. Stock ("Plaintiffs") on February 16, 2007 (Doc. 74), and the Motion to Quash Subpoena and Strike Deposition Notice filed by Plaintiffs on February 22, 2007 (Doc. 81). On March 5, 2007, the Court conducted a hearing on these motions. For the reasons set forth below, the Motion to Quash (Doc. 74) is GRANTED, and the Motion to Quash (Doc. 81) is GRANTED.

BACKGROUND

This is a class action brought on behalf of numerous healthcare providers ("Plaintiffs") who agreed to join Integrated Health Plan's ("IHP") preferred provider network. The agreement entailed that Plaintiffs would supply healthcare services to patients in the network. Plaintiffs allege that IHP enticed them to join by promising to market the network only to insurance companies and vendors ("Payors") that offer financial incentives (e.g., low deductibles) to patients who use in-network providers. According to Plaintiffs' allegations, IHP represented that these insurance companies would steer new patients to Plaintiffs, thereby increasing their business volumes. In exchange, Plaintiffs were to provide medical services to patients at discounted rates. Plaintiffs allege that because IHP did not offer the network exclusively to insurance companies that provide financial incentives to patients, the increase in patient volume never occurred and Plaintiffs never received their benefit of the bargain. In light of these averments, Plaintiffs allege breach of contract and breach of fiduciary duty.

DISCUSSION

A. Factual Summary

In their motions to quash, Plaintiffs object to three subpoenas that IHP served them, seeking to obtain deposition testimony and documents from past or current employees of The Lakin Law Firm ("LLF"), a firm that currently represents Plaintiffs in this lawsuit. The crux of Plaintiffs' motions to quash is that the subpoenas are improper pursuant to Rule 45(c) in that they designate six topics that call for information that is either privileged or not reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence in this lawsuit. Those topics are reproduced verbatim below:

(1) All documents concerning any civil or criminal government investigations or cases relating to any alleged wrongdoing by The Lakin Law Firm, Bradley Lakin, or Thomas Lakin.

(2) All documents concerning any civil lawsuits filed against The Lakin Law Firm, Bradley Lakin, or Thomas Lakin between January 1, 2006, and the present.

(3) All documents concerning any bar or ethical investigation, complaint, action or sanctions, that has not been resolved prior to January 1, 2006, relating to any alleged wrongdoing by The Lakin Law Firm, Bradley Lakin, or Thomas Lakin.

(4) All documents concerning any attempts to terminate the agreement between The Lakin Law Firm and Freed & Weiss, LLC, or otherwise to alter the relationship between The Lakin Law Firm and Freed & Weiss, LLC.

(5) All communications with clients of The Lakin Law Firm, between December 1, 2006, and the present, regarding representation by Freed & Weiss, LLC.

(6) All documents concerning the allegations set forth in the complaint in Lakin Law Frim, P.C. v. Freed & Weiss, LLC, ...


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