Banowsky, Ecklund, Curry, Cookingham Mentioned in Law360 on Encompass Trial

“Blue Cross Can’t Block New Trial In $26M Contract Suit”

A jury that cleared Blue Cross Blue Shield of Louisiana in a $26 million breach of contract suit received improper instructions that held a medical equipment supplier and surgery staff provider to an unfair standard, a Texas federal judge ruled Tuesday, granting a new trial.

Judge Jorge A. Solis agreed with Encompass Office Solutions Inc.’s argument that the jury’s take-nothing decision was affected by an instruction that required the company to prove Blue Cross was “arbitrary and capricious” when it sent a letter to doctors telling them not to use Encompass and threatening to terminate them from its network if they didn’t comply.

Bill Banowsky, an attorney for Encompass, said Tuesday that he was “pleased” with the decision.

“The instruction was wrong, and it influenced the jury’s decision,” Banowsky said. “It imposed a much higher standard than we were required to meet.”

Encompass is represented by Bill Banowsky, Jennifer Ecklund, Greg Curry and Andrew Cookingham of Thompson & Knight LLP.