LOS ANGELES – A U.S. District Court judge this week granted a motion to remand a lawsuit challenging California’s failure to ensure adequate access to care under Medi-Cal back to state court.
The ruling, handed down on Wednesday, comes two months after California officials transferred the case to federal court, alleging the case raised claims under federal law.
MALDEF (Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund), CREEC (Civil Rights Education and Enforcement Center) and the law firm of Feinberg, Jackson, Worthman & Wasow LLP filed the suit, Jimenez Perea v. Dooley, on July 12 on behalf of several individuals seeking to represent a class of all Medi-Cal participants, as well as St. John’s Well Child & Family Center, the Community Division of SEIU-United Healthcare Workers West (SEIU-UHW), and National Day Laborer Organizing Network (NDLON).
In remanding the case to state court, Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers decided, among other factors, that “California has principal authority for setting reimbursement rates” and thus “no federal question need be resolved to determine whether plaintiffs here are entitled to relief under state law.”
Please attribute the following statement in response to the court’s ruling to Thomas A. Saenz, president and general counsel of MALDEF:
“We are grateful that the federal court has acted swiftly to send this case back to state court where it was filed and where plaintiffs can obtain a remedy to the ongoing violation of state laws that deprives all Medi-Cal recipients, including the majority who are Latino, of their rights and guarantees under the program. Removal of the case was a dilatory and diversionary tactic designed to delay resolution of this important case and to seek to blame federal law for the state’s own failings. We hope that the state will cease to employ such tactics and will work to address the very real and very damaging harms experienced by Medi-Cal recipients.”
Read the court order here.