Illinois AG pursuing civil suit against 20 MRI centers

Twitter icon
Facebook icon
LinkedIn icon
e-mail icon
Google icon

The office of Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan said that it will refile its civil case against more than 20 MRI centers after a state judge said he needed more specific and detailed allegations against each defendant before the case could move forward, according to the Chicago Tribune.

Madigan’s office told the Tribune that Cook County Circuit Court Judge Peter Flynn's ruling represents a technicality, while the attorneys for the MRI centers cheered Flynn's decision, saying it shows the case lacks merit by painting each center with generalities.

Madigan's office said the state would refile and replead by Oct. 11.

The Tribune reported that Madigan claims that more than 20 Chicago-area radiology centers engaged in a scheme to win referrals for MRIs by paying illegal kickbacks to doctors. The alleged scheme, which could potentially result in millions of dollars in fraudulent health claims, was disclosed in a lawsuit kept under seal until January, when the state announced that it was joining the suit as a plaintiff.

Attorneys for the defendant MRI centers said the partnerships were lawful.

Defense attorneys said that the state investigated the case for 1.5 years and were still "unable to provide enough detailed information to avoid a judge dismissing the lawsuit," said Steven Miller, who represents Virginia-based MIDI, which operates in the Chicago-area under the Open Advanced and Open MRI brand radiology centers.

Attorneys at the AG’s office said the dismissal does not mean the case will disappear, so Madigan must now present details of at least one exchange of funds for each defendant.