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Case Name B.E. v. Teeter PC-WA-0029
Docket / Court 2:16-cv-00227 ( W.D. Wash. )
State/Territory Washington
Case Type(s) Prison Conditions
Attorney Organization Columbia Legal Services (formerly Evergreen)
Case Summary
On February 16, 2016, Washington Medicaid enrollees filed this putative class action against the Washington State Health Care Authority (WHCA) under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington. The plaintiffs alleged that WHCA’s Hepatitis C (HCV) treatment ... read more >
On February 16, 2016, Washington Medicaid enrollees filed this putative class action against the Washington State Health Care Authority (WHCA) under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington. The plaintiffs alleged that WHCA’s Hepatitis C (HCV) treatment policy violated Title XIX of the Social Security Act (also known as the “Medicaid Act”) by excluding qualified Medicaid recipients from medically necessary treatment, discriminating among similarly situated Medicaid recipients, and failing to provide treatment with reasonable promptness as required by 42 U.S.C. § 1396. The plaintiffs sought a court declaration that WHCA may not apply policies that limit treatment of HCV with direct-acting antiviral medications (DAAs) to Medicaid enrollees. The complaint further sought an injunction to prevent any future or ongoing efforts by WHCA to use and enforce such policies.

Specifically, a named plaintiff enrolled in Medicaid was diagnosed with HCV. Her doctor prescribed a type of DAA that could effectively cure the disease in more than 90% of the individuals treated. But when she attempted to fill her prescription through her Medicaid coverage, WHCA denied the request because the drug was too expensive. WHCA did not offer this plaintiff any other medication as an alternative to treat her HCV.

On March 18, 2016, the plaintiffs moved for a class certification and a preliminary injunction. District Judge John Coughenour granted plaintiffs’ Motion for Preliminary Injunction on May 27, 2016, enjoining WHCA from continuing to apply its 2015 HCV treatment policy in order to conform with existing state and federal Medicaid requirements.

On July 21, 2016, Judge Coughenour granted plaintiffs’ Motion for Class Certification after finding that the numerosity, commonality, typicality, and adequacy of representation requirements were all met. The Court certified the class as all individuals who 1) are or will be enrolled in WHCA’s Medicaid Program on or after October 10, 2014, 2) require HCV treatment with Harvoni or other similar DAAs, and 3) do not meet the coverage criteria for HCV medication adopted by WHCA in February 2015.

The parties then reached a settlement and on November 21, 2016, filed an joint motion for preliminary approval. Judge Coughenour preliminarily approved the settlement on January 5, 2017, and then held a fairness hearing.

On April 10, 2017, Judge Coughenour finally approved the settlement, finding it to be fair, reasonable, and adequate. The terms were: The 2016 Preliminary Injunction Order would remain in effect for three more years, with the Court retaining jurisdiction to enforce it; WHCA would pay each class representative $7,500 as a case contribution award, and class counsel was awarded fees and litigation costs totaling $343,394.

The three-year enforcement period has passed, and this case is closed.

Sichun Liu - 06/15/2020


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Content of Injunction
Preliminary relief granted
Medical/Mental Health
Hepatitis
Medication, administration of
Untreated pain
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Declaratory Judgment Act, 28 U.S.C. § 2201
Defendant(s) the Washington State Health Care Authority
Plaintiff Description All individuals who: (1) Are or will be enrolled in Washington's Medicaid Program on or after October 10, 2014; (2) Require, or are expected to require treatment for Hepatitis C with Harvoni or other similar medicines and (3) Do not meet the coverage criteria for HCV medication adopted by
Indexed Lawyer Organizations Columbia Legal Services (formerly Evergreen)
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status outcome Granted
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Preliminary injunction / Temp. restraining order
Attorneys fees
Damages
Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Order Duration 2017 - 2020
Filed 02/16/2016
Case Closing Year 2020
Case Ongoing No
Additional Resources
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  See this case at CourtListener.com (May provide additional documents and, for active cases, real-time alerts)
Court Docket(s)
W.D. Wash.
05/23/2019
2:16-cv-00227
PC-WA-0029-9000.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
W.D. Wash.
02/16/2016
Complaint [ECF# 1]
PC-WA-0029-0001.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
W.D. Wash.
05/27/2016
Order Granting Motion for Preliminary Inunction [ECF# 40] (2016 WL 3033500)
PC-WA-0029-0002.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
W.D. Wash.
07/21/2016
Order Certifying Class [ECF# 54] (2016 WL 3939674)
PC-WA-0029-0003.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
W.D. Wash.
11/21/2016
Agreement to Settle Claims [ECF# 59-1]
PC-WA-0029-0006.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
W.D. Wash.
01/05/2017
Order Granting Preliminary Approval of Settlement [ECF# 63]
PC-WA-0029-0004.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
W.D. Wash.
04/10/2017
Order Finally Approving Class Settlement [ECF# 87] (2017 WL 2899799)
PC-WA-0029-0007.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
show all people docs
Judges Coughenour, John C. (W.D. Wash.) show/hide docs
PC-WA-0029-0002 | PC-WA-0029-0003 | PC-WA-0029-0004 | PC-WA-0029-0007 | PC-WA-0029-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Costello, Kevin (Massachusetts) show/hide docs
PC-WA-0029-0001 | PC-WA-0029-0006 | PC-WA-0029-9000
Crewdson, Amy Louise (Washington) show/hide docs
PC-WA-0029-0001 | PC-WA-0029-0006 | PC-WA-0029-9000
Hamburger, Eleanor (Washington) show/hide docs
PC-WA-0029-0001 | PC-WA-0029-0006 | PC-WA-0029-9000
Spoonemore, Richard E. (Washington) show/hide docs
PC-WA-0029-0001 | PC-WA-0029-0006 | PC-WA-0029-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Iversen, Nissa Ann (Washington) show/hide docs
PC-WA-0029-0006 | PC-WA-0029-9000
McCarthy, Angela D. Coats (Washington) show/hide docs
PC-WA-0029-0006 | PC-WA-0029-9000
Meyer, Jennifer Smith (Washington) show/hide docs
PC-WA-0029-0006 | PC-WA-0029-9000

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