Legal Memos

California Medical Association v. Aetna Health of California, Inc. (2023) 14 Cal.5th 1075. This is a case that goes to the California Supreme Court when the California Medical Association sued a health insurer alleging violations of the Unfair Competition Law. The primary issue was the standing of the California Medical Association to raise these claims on behalf of its members. The Supreme Court held that the Unfair Competition Law’s standing requirements are satisfied when an organization, in furtherance of a bona fide, preexisting mission, incurs costs to respond to perceived unfair competition that threatens the mission of the organization, so long as those expenditures are independent of costs incurred in the unfair competition litigation itself or in preparation for such litigation. When an organization has incurred such expenditures, it suffers injury in fact and lost money or property as a result of the unfair competition. Here there was triable issue of fact as to whether Plaintiff had expended resources in response to the perceived threat that the insurer’s allegedly unlawful practices posed to the association’s mission of supporting its member physicians in advancing public health. There was also a triable issue of fact as to whether those expenses were incurred independent of the litigation. Therefore summary judgment in favor of the insurer on the standing issue should not have been granted.


Related Attorney(s):
Gregory L. McCoy