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2019-12-30 Support historic legal challenge to routine infant circumcision paid by Medicaid

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  • #16
    Originally posted by z726 View Post
    Wasn't Geisheker the one who took the case for William Stowell 20 years ago?
    David Llewellyn was the attorney.

    John Geisheker may have been recruited as an expert.
    -Ron Low
    [email protected]
    847 414-1692 Chicago


    • #17
      Originally posted by admin View Post
      David Llewellyn was the attorney.

      John Geisheker may have been recruited as an expert.
      Ah, thanks. It's been a while since that was in the news.


      • #18
        Apparently their initial court appearance was August 31st. The latest update posted on the GoFundMe page, from September 12th, shows their upcoming legal proceedings:

        Thanks for your support! Here is the schedule.

        10/9 The State opposes our request for a preliminary injunction and moves to dismiss the case.
        11/13 We reply in support of our preliminary injunction and oppose their motion to dismiss. We submit an amicus brief from American attorneys and doctors and another from European doctors.
        12/4 The State responds to our opposition to their motion to dismiss.
        12/18 Hearing on motions before a judge to decide on preliminary injunction and motion to dismiss.


        • #19
          Yet another brief update on the GoFundMe page, dated October 23:

          The State requested and was granted a 14 day extension. The hearing is now scheduled for Jan. 5, 2021.


          • #20
            JANUARY 14, 2021
            by Ronald Goldman, Ph.D., Organizer
            Our court hearing for Jan. 19 is postponed by the court to be on Feb. 18. We have no choice and are disappointed about the wait. We will be ready!


            Also i hit them with some money through their GoFundMe
            Last edited by Frizzen; 02-10-2021, 12:36 PM.
            Saying someone is "Unmutilated" is like saying "Unsweet Tea". So you mean it's just Tea, in its natural state, that nobody has screwed up? It can't be Un- anything


            • #21
              Here's an update from the GoFundMe page, posted on March 8th. Goldman is still waiting for a response to the February 18th hearing, but he summarizes what could come next:

              Our circumcision case against Massachusetts Medicaid (MassHealth) is pending the response from the judge. This case included our motion for a preliminary injunction and a motion to dismiss by MassHealth. The judge heard oral argument on these two motions on Feb. 18. These two motions are expected to be decided in the judge's response.

              The preliminary injunction decides what happens in the intervening period between the time of its issuance and when the factual hearing is to decide what happens permanently. If our motion is accepted, it means that MassHealth would be directed by the court to immediately stop paying for elective, non-therapeutic male infant circumcisions. Then there would be a wait of some months for a hearing on the merits of the case. It would be very likely that we would win the case if our motion for preliminary injunction is accepted. If our motion for preliminary injunction is rejected, then we also wait for a hearing on the merits of the case.

              The decision on the motion to dismiss is akin to the court acting as a gatekeeper for whether they even will allow the case to be heard on the merits; if the motion to dismiss is granted, it means we never get to make our arguments about whether it is proper for Medicaid to continue paying for circumcisions (unless we appeal the court's decision), whereas if the motion to dismiss is denied, the court will grant a full hearing to the factual question of whether circumcision is necessary such that MassHealth should pay for it through their Medicaid program.

              Thanks for your support!


              • #22
                Update, as of April 2nd: the motion to dismiss was denied, so the lawsuit continues... slowly.

                April 2, 2021 by Ronald Goldman, Ph.D., Organizer
                We have great news to report, an interim victory in this case! After reading briefs and hearing oral argument, the Judge in Suffolk Superior Court denied MassHealth's motion to dismiss the lawsuit, so as of now, we have the right to proceed with it.

                More specifically, the judge ruled that we can move forward based on our claims that MassHealth is violating state law, but not on our claims that it is violating federal law. That does not affect our lawsuit, but it could affect later lawsuits in other states. We think that part of his decision is clearly erroneous.

                The case has been referred to the Appeals Court which allows the Judge to have his decision reviewed by the Appeals Court before the case proceeds. They have received the Judge's opinion and both sides will likely have an opportunity to submit their arguments. This may take a couple of months.

                If the Appeals Court affirms the Judge's ruling, we will proceed (back down at the lower court) with the case. This will involve a fact intensive inquiry including depositions and interrogatories, which are written requests for answers and documents. It is unlikely that the Appeals Court would rule against us.


                • #23
                  Another update - while nothing's happened in the last couple weeks, Goldman does imply that they'll be contesting the previously mentioned ruling on federal law. Also, their lawyers still need grocery money. From April 15th:

                  As mentioned we won a victory in the Superior Court. The judge denied MassHealth's Motion to Dismiss the lawsuit in its entirety. But now that ruling is on appeal and we have to defend our win. MassHealth also won a partial victory that might adversely affect lawsuits in other states, and we need to try to reverse that on appeal.

                  Our lawyers are billing at extremely low rates and donating most of their time. Now they need to spend 100+ hours on the appeal. So we need to raise $5,000 - $10,000 more.

                  Therefore we would be extremely grateful if you could contribute to our efforts.


                  • #24
                    It's been a few months, and there have been two updates posted on the fundraiser page. This is from July 13:

                    We filed our written argument with the Appeals court to meet the June 30 deadline. Now we wait for the State to file their written response. Then we prepare for the Appeals hearing that will probably be in the next few months. Thanks for your support! Additional donations would be helpful.
                    And this is from July 21:

                    The legal representative for the Massachusetts Medicaid office requested and will receive an extension of 60 days to September 28 to file their next legal document for the case.
                    Also, they're close to reaching the current fundraising goal. Here's the link again, for those of you who might want to help put it over the top:


                    • #25
                      And an update from September 18th: wait a few more weeks.

                      The legal representative of the Massachusetts Medicaid office has received another extension until the end of October to file their next legal document for the case.


                      • #26
                        As of October 8th, still nothing's happening:

                        The Massachusetts Medicaid legal representative requested another 30 day extension to submit his document to the Court. We are disappointed about the delay. It appears that the Court agrees with us that no further delay will be accepted. We are now waiting until the end of November for the State to respond.
                        I guess we're waiting yet a few more weeks. At least the fundraiser's alive and well.


                        • #27
                          Yesterday's update:

                          The Massachusetts Medicaid legal representative submitted their legal document describing their position on Nov. 29. We have until about Jan. 15 to submit our response. Then we schedule a court hearing.


                          • #28
                            We have another update, just a bit longer than the previous ones. Part of it is that they've increased their fundraising goal to cover more legal fees, but they also mention the next steps in the court process.

                            From our Attorney:
                            Hello. I am Peter Adler, Massachusetts counsel in this case, together with Andrew DeLaney appearing from New Jersey. We are writing to thank you very much for your donations and to update you about the status of the case.

                            We do really appreciate your generous donations to this litigation, whether large or small. This is a landmark case where we are trying to end Medicaid funding of circumcisions in Massachusetts. That would be a huge win. We are hopeful that a victory in Massachusetts would lead to victories in other states that allow taxpayers suits like this one.

                            Andrew and I are both billing our time at $150 per hour, but we are only billing for a fraction of our time. I have worked at least 500 hours on the case and Andrew has worked another 100 to 200 more. As a result, the hourly rate overall is very low.

                            SUPERIOR COURT CASE

                            We are really excited about the results so far. As Ron Goldman explained, MassHealth, the Massachusetts Medicaid agency, moved to dismiss the lawsuit. We filed a responsive brief; the state filed a reply; then we had oral argument before Judge Gordon in Suffolk Superior Court (via Zoom).

                            Judge Gordon ruled that taxpayers in Massachusetts have the right to proceed in Superior Court on their claim that it is unlawful under Massachusetts law: to use Medicaid to pay for circumcision; to fail to require proof of medical necessity; and to fail to establish an institution review board to review those payment. He then referred the case to the Massachusetts Court of Appeals to review his decision.

                            COURT OF APPEALS CASE

                            We filed our appellate brief on June 30, which contained 50 pages of arguments, 128 pages including the addendum, and an appendix 198 pages long. The state filed its brief, which is more than 100 pages long, in response to ours on November 29; and we have until January 15 to file our reply to the state’s brief. Then the Court of Appeals will hear oral argument.

                            We expect to need more than 60 hours to reply to the state’s brief, which is over 100 pages long including attachments, and for oral argument. We would therefore like to raise an addition $10,000 to cover our discounted legal fees. We will appreciate your additional donations.

                            We are using our best efforts to move the case along as swiftly as possible. If we preserve the win in the Superior Court at the Court of Appeals, we will do some discovery, but there are only a few facts we need to prove. We would then move for summary judgment, arguing that there are no material facts in dispute and that we have the right to win the lawsuit.

                            We hope this update is helpful to you. Thank you again so much for your generous support of this cause so far, and we would appreciate your additional donations.

                            Peter W Adler, Esquire
                            Wellesley, Massachusetts
                            December 17, 2021


                            • #29
                              Update from January 19, 2022:

                              We have submitted to the Appeals Court our written response to the State's written defense of its position. We now wait for the Appeals Court to notify us of the date in March when we will have the Appeals Court hearing. Thanks for your support!


                              • #30
                                From January 30:

                                We have reached our fundraising goal! Thanks to all who have contributed. The need for additional fundraising will depend on how the legal process proceeds. For example, if there are additional appeals, document submissions, and hearings, we may need more funds. Our next steps are a hearing scheduled for March 17 and another hearing to follow it.