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Appeals court to reconsider RICO claims against Sedgwick, Coca-Cola

Appeals court to reconsider RICO claims against Sedgwick, Coca-Cola

A federal appeals court is scheduled to reconsider allegations that Sedgwick Claims Management Services Inc. and Coca-Cola Enterprises Inc. violated the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act in settling workers compensation claims.

An en banc panel of the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati will hear oral arguments in the case of Clifton Jackson et al. v. Sedgwick Claims Management Services Inc. et al. on June 12, according to the court's schedule.

Last year, a three-member panel of the court ruled that a trial court erred in dismissing a civil lawsuit brought by two workers comp claimants alleging their employer and the employer's third-party administrator violated RICO.

The two former Coca-Cola workers, who were injured in unrelated workplace accidents, sued in 2009 in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, claiming the defendants sought to deny paying workers comp benefits despite medical evidence strongly supporting their work-related injury claims.

The trial court had dismissed their lawsuit, finding that RICO does not provide an end run around the exclusive remedy provided under Michigan's workers comp law. After the appeals court revived the lawsuit, the defense in the case requested the en banc hearing.