Cervantes v. Health Plan of Nevada

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Justia Opinion Summary

Appellant Margerita Cervantes allegedly contracted hepatitis C as a result of treatment she received at the Endoscopy Center of Southern Nevada (ECSN). Appellant obtained treatment at ECSN as part of the health care benefits she received through her culinary union. The union operated a self-funded ERISA health care plan and retained Respondents, Health Plan of Nevada and other health and life insurance entities, as its agents to assist in establishing a network of the plan's chosen medical provider. Appellant filed a lawsuit alleging that Respondents were responsible for her injuries because they failed to ensure the quality of care provided by ECSN and referred her to a blatantly unsafe medical provider. The district court concluded that Cervantes' claims were preempted by ERISA section 514(a). The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that state law claims of negligence and negligence per se against a managed care organization contracted by an ERISA plan to facilitate the development of the ERISA plan's network of health care providers were precluded by ERISA section 514.