NY SUPREME COURT GRANTS CLASS STATUS TO NYC GOVT RETIREES OVER ILLEGALLY COLLECTED COPAYS
The retirees are accusing New York City, EmblemHealth, and Group Health Inc. of violating the law by charging copays for medical care
New York City, NY — Justice Lyle E. Frank of the New York Supreme Court granted class-action status to over 200,000 elderly and disabled retired New York City workers in a suit against New York City, EmblemHealth, and Group Health Inc. The suit alleges that these defendants charge retirees unlawful copays every time they received medical care. These copays violate retirees’ statutory, contractual, and common law rights.
The retirees, who filed the suit in November 2022, are represented by Jake Gardener of Walden Macht & Haran LLP and Steve Cohen of Pollock Cohen LLP.
In January 2023, Justice Frank prohibited the defendants from continuing to impose copays on retirees, holding that the retirees were likely to prevail in their lawsuit and that the copays were causing them irreparable harm. That injunction was unanimously affirmed on appeal in May.
“These elderly and disabled retirees, most of whom are living on small, fixed incomes, are entitled, and desperately need, to be able to see their doctors without being charged unaffordable and unlawful copays,” said Jake Gardener, attorney at Walden Macht & Haran LLP.
“Thanks to Justice Frank’s ruling, hundreds of thousands of vulnerable senior citizens and disabled first responders will be able to effectively obtain the relief they deserve.”
“The illegal copays imposed felt like a car payment to many of us. We were being penalized for accessing needed care, which became detrimental to our health and wallet. We are grateful the Court certified this case as a class action for us to obtain proper relief,” said Marianne Pizzitola, President of the NYC Organization of Public Service Retirees.
The case is Margaretann Bianculli et al. v. City of New York Office of Labor Relations et al., case number 160234-2022, in the New York Supreme Court, County of New York.
Banner Image: NYC Retirees sign. Image Credit – NYC Org of Public Service Retirees