Antitrust Case by IA Chiropractors Can't Be Stayed Despite Similar AL federal case

Iowa case law summary by Attorney Richard Clem: civil procedure.

Bradley A. Chicoine, et al., v. Wellmark, Inc., et al.. IA insurance, civil procedure

This was a class-action antitrust lawsuit by thirteen Iowa chiropractors against the state's largest health insurer. The suit alleged that the insurer conspired to fix prices, allocate markets, and engage in other anticompetitive practices.

On the defendant's motion, the district court stayed the case in its entirety pending a federal multidistrict litigation proceeding in Alabama. The plaintiffs then appealed, and the case was heard by the Iowa Supreme Court.

The supreme court reversed the lower court's ruling. It noted that the Alabama case was still in pretrial proceedings, and could take years before a final decision. Even though there was some overlap between the two cases, there were also considerable differences. For that reason, the supreme court vacated the stay order and remanded the case to Polk County for further proceedings.

No. 16-0364 (Iowa Apr. 21, 2017).

Please see the original opinion for the court's exact language.


Richard P. Clem is an attorney and continuing legal education (CLE) provider in Minnesota. He has been in private practice in the Twin Cities for 25 years. He has a J.D., cum laude, from Hamline University School of Law in St. Paul and a B.A. in History from the University of Minnesota. His reported cases include: Asociacion Nacional de Pescadores a Pequena Escala o Artesanales de Colombia v. Dow Quimica de Colombia, 988 F.2d 559, rehearing denied, 5 F.3d 530 (5th Cir. 1993), cert. denied, 510 U.S. 1041 (1994); LaMott v. Apple Valley Health Care Center, 465 N.W.2d 585 (Minn. Ct. App. 1991); Abo el Ela v. State, 468 N.W.2d 580 (Minn. Ct. App. 1991).

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