Back in April of 2013, Nancy Sander and Tonya Winders – the founder of Allergy & Asthma Network/Mothers of Asthmatics (AANMA) and its CEO – co-wrote an article entitled Patients, Not Piggy Banks, which called out a growing practice that was bilking patients for substandard care. To quote from the article:
Increasingly, patients are unknowingly exposed to less than professional allergy testing immunotherapy practices and fraudulent billing schemes embedded in a growing number of primary care physician (PCP) practices throughout the United States.
In 2015, San Antonio-based United Allergy Services filed suit against AAN and Winders, alleging they had conspired to interfere with its business practices.
Yesterday, a federal jury unanimously ruled against United Allergy and sided with Winders following a three-week trial before Senior U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth.
“Really what this case was was an an effort to shut Ms Winders up,” said David Prichard, a San Antonio lawyer who was a member of her legal team. “This was a David-versus-Goliath case. This was a $100 million company that tried to intimidate her and silence her advocacy on behalf of allergy and asthma patients.”
Following the verdict, AANMA issued the following press release:
Allergy & Asthma Network Wins Jury Verdict In Antitrust Lawsuit By United Allergy Services
VIENNA, Va., March 26, 2018 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — A San Antonio jury today returned a unanimous verdict in favor of Allergy & Asthma Network, the defendant in a federal antitrust lawsuit brought by United Allergy Services in early 2014.
“We are extremely pleased with the just and correct outcome of this case,” Allergy & Asthma Network President and CEO Tonya Winders said. “We remained confident in a successful verdict throughout the entire 4-year process and the jury did a great job making this decision.”
San Antonio-based United Allergy Services (UAS) had sued Allergy & Asthma Network/Mothers of Asthmatics and CEO Tonya Winders for $224 million. The Network is the leading nonprofit patient education and advocacy organization dedicated to ending needless death and suffering due to asthma, allergies and related conditions.
UAS accused the Network, leading allergist professional medical societies and Phadia/ThermoFisher Scientific of conspiring to organize a restraint of trade and restrict their business arrangements. All other defendants chose to settle due to the high cost of litigation; however, the Network and Winders refused to be silenced.
The jury determined the Network did not participate in a conspiracy nor did they interfere with UAS business practices. The jury also found the Network acted solely to protect patients and petition the government, as part of its First Amendment right.
“Thank you to each member of the eight-person jury who fulfilled his and her civic duty and supported patients’ right to know when fraud, deception and abuse are occurring,” Winders shared. “We are so grateful to our amazing legal team from the Carter Arnett firm based in Dallas, Texas.”
About Allergy & Asthma Network
Allergy & Asthma Network is the leading national nonprofit organization dedicated to ending needless death and suffering due to asthma, allergies and related conditions. The Network specializes in sharing patient-friendly, medically reviewed information through its award-winning Allergy & Asthma Today magazine, E-newsletter, AllergyAsthmaNetwork.org and numerous community outreach programs.
Follow Allergy & Asthma Network on Facebook and Twitter @AllergyAsthmaHQ. Join at AllergyAsthmaNetwork.org/join.
We congratulate Tonya and the Allergy & Asthma Network for their continued advocacy on behalf of the community and for standing firm behind that advocacy in the face of the bullying tactics intended to silence them.
- Allergy & Asthma Network Wins Jury Verdict In Antitrust Lawsuit By United Allergy Services – AANMA Press Release
- United Allergy loses federal jury trial – San Antonio Express News
- Patients, Not Piggy Banks – AANMA