Tuesday, April 1, 2014

In Healthcare Suit Against Catholic Bishops, the Specter of an Early Defeat

Nina Martin of ProPublica reported at Property Casualty 360 on the case of Tamesha Means, represented by the ACLU, against the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops alleging
"she was subjected to dangerously substandard treatment, that her own health was placed in peril, and that she was deprived of information about her condition because of rules issued by the bishops conference that govern all Catholic health care in the U.S.
"The bishops, for the most part, have chosen to avoid sweeping language about constitutional rights and freedoms, instead focusing on the nitty-gritty procedural issues that are basic to high-stakes civil litigation."
In addition to raising the statute of limitations,
"They argue, essentially, that the ACLU has chosen the wrong venue—federal court in Detroit—to sue (the USCCB is based in Washington D.C.) and is mistaken in blaming the USCCB for decisions made by individual bishops in their own dioceses.
"The arguments echo what some legal scholars have been saying for some time: that the lawsuit is at best a long-shot. A hearing is scheduled for May on the motion to dismiss."