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Health Net Hit With Class Action Alleging Unfair Business Practices Over Retroactive Cancellations of Health Insurance Policies
Date:11/16/2007

Claremont Lawyer Calls upon State Regulators to Impose Stiffer Penalties,

Suspend Insurer's License for Lying to State Investigators

CLAREMONT, Calif., Nov. 16 /PRNewswire/ -- Renowned insurance litigator William Shernoff yesterday filed a class action lawsuit against Health Net Life Insurance Company, alleging that the insurer's unlawful practice of retroactively canceling health insurance policies has needlessly placed the lives of hundreds of innocent policyholders in jeopardy.

The lawsuit comes one day after Health Net was hit by state officials with $1 million fine for lying to state investigators this fall about its practice of setting goals for cancellations and awarding bonuses to employees who rescind individual policies.

In light of the fine, Shernoff, who has represented hundreds of cancelled policyholders over the past 2 years, has called upon California Insurance Commissioner Steven Poizner to suspend Health Net license to sell insurance. Shernoff said he will also request that California state Attorney General Jerry Brown explore the possibility of criminal charges.

"Many people who have lied to investigators have faced criminal penalties," said Shernoff, the founding partner of Shernoff, Bidart & Darras. "Maybe it's time state prosecutors get involved in cleaning up this sordid practice of unlawful cancellations."

Health Net's efforts to mislead state investigators were exposed last week when Shernoff revealed internal Health Net documents showing that the company set annual goals for its employee handling rescissions investigations. In 2002, the employee was given the goal of rescinding 15 policies per month. If the employee reached the quota -- also identified in terms of overall money saved -- the employee was awarded bonuses.

Last week Shernoff submitted these documents to an arbitrator who is hearing the case of Patsy Bates, a Los Angeles hair dresser, whose health insurance was cancelled by Hea
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SOURCE Shernoff, Bidart & Darras
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