Guam Superior Court denies TakeCare motion for summary judgment
The Superior Court of Guam on Jan. 16 denied TakeCare Insurance Inc.’s motion for summary judgment in its complaint filed against the Guam Department of Administration, the Government of Guam and the Guam Office of Public Accountability.

TakeCare alleged that in its response to the April 2019 request for proposals issued by DOA for a group health and dental insurance plan for government of Guam employees, it was fair to assume that its relationship with insurance provider NetCare — which has a direct contract with Guam Regional Medical City — would satisfy the RFP’s requirement that all respondents include GRMC in their network.

On March 1, GRMC informed TakeCare that it would only accept insurance providers that have a direct contract with it, which disqualified it from the RFP.

TakeCare filed a protest with DOA, which was dismissed on the grounds that it was not filed within the 14-day limit to file protests. TakeCare subsequently filed a motion for summary judgment, to which the government of Guam responded with a cross-motion for summary judgment and opposition to TakeCare’s motion for summary judgment.

The court denied TakeCare’s motion on the basis that Guam law only permits protests filed within 14 days of its knowledge of the facts giving rise to protest. Although TakeCare claims it did not know of the facts giving rise to their protest until they were informed that they won’t be accepted by GRMC without a direct contract, the court found that the RFP specifically requires respondents to include GRMC in their network.

Because the language of the RFP did not specify that an indirect contract with GRMC through a third party would be sufficient, TakeCare’s assumption that GRMC would do so was unverified, and without such verification, TakeCare should have been aware of the possibility their assumption would be incorrect.


AG settles more than $485, 000 in claims for GovGuam
The Office of the Attorney General of Guam settled more than $485,000 in claims on behalf of the government of Guam over the past year, according to a Jan. 22 release. The AG’s office assisted the Guam Memorial Hospital Authority, the Department of Revenue and Taxation and the Department of Administration in collecting overdue payments.

Agencies refer cases to the AG’s office after they have exhausted their collection efforts.


GRMC and Guam Orthopaedic Clinic sued
A suit against Guam Healthcare Development Inc. — which does business as Guam Regional Medical City — Guam Orthopaedic Clinic and an unnamed insurance company was filed by Wendy Nicholas, an Oregon resident and former resident of Saipan, on Jan. 16.

Nicholas alleges Dr. Ruben P. Afiles, an orthopedic surgeon employed by the Guam Orthopaedic Clinic and who the court recognizes as acting as an agent of GRMC, performed negligent surgery on her, causing unnecessary pain, extreme mental anguish and financial hardship, the need for additional corrective medical procedures and other damages.

Additionally, Nicholas alleges that she is entitled to financial recovery against the insurance company, and an arbitration process implemented by the defendants under Guam’s Medical Mandatory Arbitration Act violates her right to due process, equal protection and the privileges and immunities clauses of the Organic Act of Guam and the U.S. Constitution.

Nicholas’ prayer for relief asks that the court declare Guam’s Medical Mandatory Arbitration Act inorganic and unconstitutional, prevent the defendants from requiring her to undergo arbitration, argue against the defendants for present and future compensatory damages, economic and non-economic damages, medical care and expenses and bodily injury and other relief to which she may be entitled.


Attorney’s office and Regal Theaters sued for alleged ADA violations
Suit was filed on Jan. 6 against the Law Office of Bruce Berline in Saipan and Regal Guam Megaplex theaters in Guam by Clifford Hackett for alleged violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Hackett alleges the two businesses have barriers to disabled individuals, the removal of which is readily achievable and removal is therefore mandated by the ADA.

Hackett’s prayer for relief asks that the defendants remove the barriers, pay attorney fees and provide any other relief to which he is entitled. mbj