June 15th, 2007
On February 28, 2007, Judge Daniel T. K. Hurley of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida approved the settlement in Gagliano v. Medical Staffing Network. In the case, the plaintiff alleged that MSN's Health and Welfare Plan ("Plan") failed to provide proper notice pursuant to the requirements of the Comprehensive Omnibus Reconciliation Act of 1985, 29 U.S.C. §§ 1161, et seq. ("COBRA"), resulting in class members unknowingly suffering a gap in coverage and a denial of certain health benefits. Under the terms of the settlement, class members receive (1) the opportunity to be reimbursed for certain claims that were denied as a result of a gap in coverage, (2) the opportunity to receive payment of statutory damages; and (3) the benefit of a change in MSN's practice with respect to the dissemination of COBRA notices related to gaps in coverage to ensure that all future gaps in coverage are timely made known to Plan participants. In approving the settlement, Judge Hurley called the case a "tremendously important lawsuit" and commended the "outstanding job" done by SFMS lawyers Douglas Dehler, James Shah and Scott Shepherd.