A federal lawsuit that could potentially shake up the way the US medical establishment treats Lyme disease is wending its way towards a trial date.
Investigative journalist Mary Beth Pfeiffer recently provided an update on the case in the following LymeDisease.org blog: Patient lawsuit against IDSA and insurers goes forward in Texas.
Now, Pfeiffer has created an information page about the lawsuit on the website for her book, “Lyme: The First Epidemic of Climate Change.”
She links to articles she has written about the case since it was filed in 2017. You can access a copy of the lawsuit itself, as well as court filings by both sides.
The case, Torrey v. IDSA et al, names six co-authors of the IDSA Lyme treatment guidelines: Raymond J. Dattwyler, John J. Halperin, Eugene Shapiro, Leonard Sigal, Allen Steere, and Gary P. Wormser. (A seventh, Robert Nadelman, died in 2018.)
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It also names eight insurance companies: Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, Anthem, Inc., Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas, Aetna Inc., Cigna Corporation, Kaiser Permanente, Inc., United Healthcare Services, Inc., and Unitedhealth Group Incorporated.
The lead plaintiff, Lisa Torrey, lives in Texas. There are 24 additional plaintiffs (two deceased) from various states, who say they’ve have been harmed by the guidelines and the named insurance companies.
The suit essentially charges that the guidelines authors have been in cahoots with the insurance companies—to the detriment of Lyme patients.
Insurance denials for Lyme treatment are common complaints in the Lyme community.
The suit has already survived one motion to dismiss. (See Pfeiffer’s most recent blog for details about that.)
A hearing on a second motion to dismiss the case will be held on March 11, in Texarkana, Texas.
TOUCHED BY LYME is written by Dorothy Kupcha Leland, LymeDisease.org’s Director of Communications. She is co-author of When Your Child Has Lyme Disease: A Parent’s Survival Guide. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.