Aetna Statement in Response to Ruling by the U.S. District Court in the Southern District of Florida on Motions to Dismiss Managed Care Class Action Complaints (Subscriber Track)

Judge dismisses part of managed care class action case ruling notes “Fragility” of some remaining claims

HARTFORD, Conn., February 20, 2002 — Today, U.S. District Judge Federico Moreno dismissed portions of the plaintiffs' case in the subscribers class action proceedings. This represents a significant further narrowing of the plaintiff's claims following the Court's previous ruling last June. In reference to some of the claims permitted to go forward, the Court noted that "these Plaintiffs should be aware of the fragility of their claims." Aetna (NYSE: ΑET) is pleased that the Court took this step at this preliminary stage of litigation, while the judge must still assume the accuracy of all of the plaintiffs' factual allegations.

The Court must now decide whether or not the patchwork of claims that remain can be certified as a broad class. It is worth noting that the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals has never upheld class certification in a RICO case. Earlier this month, in a case that presented issues similar to those presented in the managed care cases, the Eleventh Circuit decertified a RICO class in Sikes v. Teleline, Inc., et. al., No. 99-8007, -- F.3d --, 2002 WL 219870 (11th Cir. Feb. 13, 2002).

In the wake of today's ruling, this case remains what it has always been - a cause of action in search of a rationale. It is important to note that not a single plaintiff claims that they were ever denied any benefit or suffered any real injury.

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