Plaintiff v. Dental Insurance Provider

Appellate Ruling
March 2017

An endodontist filed suit after claiming that Sedgwick’s managed care network client breached their contract under which she would provide endodontic services based on referrals from other network providers. The matter has a protracted litigation history that included a lengthy arbitration, which culminated in an abrupt termination of the arbitration after the arbitrator was deemed to have a conflict. The endodontist then filed suit in the San Francisco Superior Court, and our client’s predecessor counsel petitioned the court to compel arbitration. The petition was denied and the endodontist sought attorneys’ fees incurred in defeating our client’s arbitration demand.

The trial court denied her fee request, prompting an interlocutory appeal of the ruling on the fee request. Prior counsel prepared the appellate briefing, but on the eve of oral argument, our client retained Sedgwick to handle the appellate argument. In preparing for the oral argument, we discovered a jurisdictional issue that had not been adequately addressed in the briefing and raised the matter with the Court of Appeal at the hearing. Four days later, the Court of Appeal issued its decision finding an absence of appellate jurisdiction and dismissing the appeal.