Press Release June 20, 2016

Alston & Bird Represents U.S. and California Chambers of Commerce in Amici Brief Challenging California “Phantom Damages” Ruling

On June 17, 2016, Alston & Bird filed an amici brief on behalf of the U.S. and California Chambers of Commerce urging a California appeals court to reverse a decision that plaintiff’s damages for future medical expenses could be based on billed rates rather than the rates actually accepted by providers as full payment.

The amici brief argues that the trial court ignored settled California law that the amounts billed by medical providers do not reflect the market value of medical services. The brief explains that awarding damages based on billed charges rather than the amount accepted as full payment does not compensate plaintiffs; it provides the plaintiff a windfall recovery – in some cases, many multiples of the damages that would make the plaintiff whole.

Serving as counsel for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce are Alston & Bird lawyers David Venderbush and Brian Boone.

The case is B.C. v. Contra Costa County et al., case number A143440, in the California Court of Appeal, First Appellate District.
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Alex Wolfe
Communications Director

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