UPDATE: August 23, 2022
Since the case was remanded to the lower court earlier this year for further proceedings, Class counsel has done or will be doing the following:
1. Made several requests ("motions"). The primary purpose of these motions has been to obtain money to pay for the class members' monetary recoveries. The subject matters of the motions and a hyperlink where you can find the motions are listed below:
(a) Motion to Conduct Further Proceedings to obtain the $3,000,000 coverage set forth in the Errors and Omissions Policy defendant New West Health Services had with Allied World Assurance Company. Allied contends only $1,000,000 in coverage is available. The class representative contends $3,000,000 is available to pay for class members' losses.
(b) Motion to Amend the lawsuit to include bad faith claims against New West's insurer, Allied World Assurance Company. We believe the reason there has been over a decade of delay in obtaining recoveries for class members has been the bad faith and unfair dealing of Allied World Assurance Company in the way it conducted itself during the course of the lawsuit. Therefore, we have requested that the Court allow us to sue Allied World on behalf of the Class.
(c) Motions that Allied pay for attorney fees and costs. We have asked the Court to order that Allied pay at least some of the Class's attorney fees and costs because of its bad faith and unfair practices it has engaged in over the court of the lawsuit.
(d) Miscellaneous motions to obtain further information from Allied World concerning its claim files. This should document Allied's conduct or misconduct during the course of this lawsuit.
2. Contacting potential class members to obtain additional information. The motions above will take time to resolve. In the meantime, the class administrator will be sending class members an additional request for information. This information should help document your claims and thus, eligibility fir monetary recovery. It is important that you promptly respond.
3. Retaining additional attorneys to pursue actions against New West's liability carrier, Allied World Assurance Company. The lawsuit against Allied World is expected to take time to resolve and will require considerable attorney representation. Therefore, Class counsel has added the following attorneys to the team:
John Morrison, P.O. Box 557, Helena, MT 59624
Scott Peterson, P.O. Box 557, Helena, MT 59624
Class counsel will be requesting that the Court approve these attorneys. They both have experience in class action lawsuits and should increase the probability that we can obtain monetary recovery.
4. Future court proceedings. Once we obtain rulings from the Court this fall, we will be able to proceed with the case, including a "fairness" hearing which will allow you to provide comments and objections to any settlement or other resolution of this lawsuit. You will receive a written notice providing you with the details of these future proceedings.
5. CONTACT US. You can use the "Contact" form on this website to send us an email or call 1-833-913-4212 and speak to an operator.
UPDATE: March 23, 2022
On March 8, 2022, the Montana Supreme Court denied the Class's petition for a rehearing and remanded to the lower court for further proceedings. Class counsel has requested a hearing to schedule future proceedings, including eventually, a hearing where all class members will be entitled to provide their input. Court documents, including the petition for a rehearing and the Montana Supreme Court orders related thereto are provided.
UPDATE: February 2, 2022
On January 5, 2022, the Montana Supreme Court finally made its decision regarding the existence and amount of insurance available to pay class members. Unfortunately, the Court opined that only the $1,000,000 policy limit applied and not the $3,000,000 limit. See, Opinion. This essentially means there will not be adequate insurance proceeds to fully compensate class members.
We are, however, requesting a rehearing as we believe the Supreme Court misinterpreted and misapplied prior law. See, Petition for Rehearing. The defendant insurer, Allied Insurance, has responded. See, Response. We await a decision which we expect in the next few months.
The website will be updated when the Supreme Court makes its final decision. Further court proceedings will be necessary in the lower court before we know what can be done. You will then receive another written notice which will allow you to provide your input.
For detailed information, the following court documents are provided for your review.
1) Supreme Court’s Opinion dated 1/5/22;
2) Plaintiffs/Appellees’ Petition for Rehearing dated 1/18/22; and
3) Allied World’s Objections to Petition dated 1/21/22.
1. Health insurance through New West at any time from January 26, 2002.
2. Injured due to the legal fault of another person or company (e.g. automobile accidents, slips and fall; dangerous consumer products; medical malpractice or other types of claims for injury).
If you or a family member satisfy these two conditions, you are a putative class member and your claim will be considered or eligible to receive money.
WHAT TO DO IF YOU QUALIFY
In order to participate in the distribution of the Net Settlement Funds, you must fill out and mail back the pre-paid claim form no later than February 26, 2021. The Court has ruled that people who fail to mail back their claims form within this time period, may forfeit their right to receive a monetary recovery. If you did not receive a pre-paid claim form via mail, you can download a copy from the documents section of this site.