Avera settles lawsuit with malpractice insurer that abandoned health system
MMIC walked away during mediation in lawsuits against former spine surgeon
A lawsuit filed by Avera Health against its former insurance company has settled, with both parties asking a judge to dismiss the case in a motion filed in federal court Wednesday.
Avera filed the case against Minnesota-based MMIC Insurance in 2020 after the hospital system accused the insurance company of abandoning it amid an avalanche of lawsuits. At the time, MMIC provided the health system and its doctors medical malpractice coverage.
Steve Johnson, a lawyer with Johnson, Janklow & Abdallah who represented Avera, said the terms of the settlement were confidential.
“It was mutually agreeable, and the parties came to a successful resolution short of trial,” Johnson said.
The settlement ends a legal saga that started a decade ago after Avera Sacred Heart in Yankton and the Lewis & Clark Specialty Hospital were sued in 36 separate cases brought by families and patients of Dr. Allen Sossan. Sossan, an Iranian native who came to the United States as a child, was a spine surgeon based in Norfolk, Neb. He had privileges to perform surgery at Avera Sacred Heart and he was a partner at the physician-owned Lewis & Clark.
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