SANTA ANA — UnitedHealth Group has sued California’s insurance commissioner to block a $173.6 million fine the insurer incurred for violations during a botched acquisition.
The Los Angeles Times reports the lawsuit filed Thursday in Orange County Superior Court accuses Commissioner Dave Jones of setting a dangerous precedent by seeking such stiff punishment for relatively minor violations.
Insurance regulators said UnitedHealth committed more than 900,000 violations after the takeover.
UnitedHealth has acknowledged its 2005 takeover of PacifiCare didn’t go as planned. The company admits numerous mistakes in processing medical claims and customer applications.
In its decision, the insurance department said its proposed fine “appropriately reflects the gravity” of the offenses.
An insurance department spokesman said Thursday the agency hadn’t had time to fully review the lawsuit.