Beaufort News

CareCore denied new trial in antitrust case

Operations at CareCore headquarters in Bluffton are expected to continue as usual, despite a federal judge's recent decision to uphold a multimillion-dollar verdict against the corporation.

On Sept. 28, U.S. District Court Judge Leonard Wexler refused to throw out the verdict against CareCore National LLC in an antitrust suit and rejected the company's request for a new trial.

Last November, a U.S. District Court jury in New York's Eastern District found CareCore guilty of antitrust violations. The suit accused the benefits-management company of conspiring to exclude several New York radiology practices from its list of providers.

The judgment, including damages and attorney's fees, totaled nearly $40 million.

Operations at CareCore's Bluffton headquarters aren't expected to be affected.

"CareCore National is disappointed by the denial of post-trial motions in Stand-UP MRI v. CareCore National," the company said in a statement. "We remain steadfast in our position that we acted properly, in compliance with the law, and in the interest of quality cost effective health care.

"The court's decision will not impact CareCore's ongoing operations or ability to perform the full range of services we offer our customers."

The statement also indicates that CareCore litigators will contest Wexler's ruling in an appellate court. They will have 30 days to file a notice for that appeal once Wexler issues a final judgment in this case, expected within the next few weeks.

According to Matthew Cantor, an attorney with Constantine Cannon LLC in New York, which is representing the plaintiffs, CareCore probably won't win its appeal.

"Our constitutional system awards great deference to the factual findings of jurors," Cantor said. "The standard is an incredibly high one, particularly in instances like these where the verdict was reached unanimously."

Two additional antitrust cases against CareCore -- both similar to the one filed by Stand-UP MRI, according to Cantor -- are expected to move forward in the next few months.

CareCore was founded in 1994 and moved its headquarters from Wappingers Falls, N.Y., to Bluffton in 2007. Last year, it expanded its Buckwalter Place headquarters, which can accommodate over 500 positions.

Last month, the company's chairman and CEO, Donald Ryan, died suddenly. Richard Weininger, executive vice president for CareCore's corporate strategies division, was named Ryan's successor as chairman.

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