On April 22, Marion Superior Court Judge Michael Keele granted class certification and appointed Cohen & Malad, LLP and Coots, Henke and Wheeler as class counsel in an action that seeks to recover over $30 million dollars of surplus funds paid by health care providers to the Indiana Residual Malpractice Insurance Authority.  IRMIA provides malpractice insurance to health care providers who are unable to obtain insurance in the regular market.

IRMIA is administered by private sector insurers under the authority of the Indiana Department of Insurance and operates without any government or taxpayer funds.  In recent years, IRMIA’s own actuaries have repeatedly told it that it has amassed millions of dollars more than will ever be needed for reserves to pay claims.  Although IRMIA’s own actuaries describe these excess funds as “redundant” and “undistributed” and repeatedly raised questions as to their disposition, IRMIA has so far refused to return those excess funds to the health care providers who paid that money.  As Irwin Levin, Cohen & Malad’s managing partner, explained to the court at the hearing on class certification, IRMIA is allowing these accumulated funds to be stashed away in a veritable cave, never to see the light of day.

The Plaintiffs submitted an expert actuarial report to the court confirming that the excess funds can be returned to the health care providers on a classwide basis.  Mr. Levin explained “We are gratified that the Court has certified the class.  This way, the private money that is just being stashed away for no reason can be repaid to the policyholders and reintroduced into the Indiana economy”.

Levin also spoke with the Indiana Lawyer newspaper regarding this case.