AZA Selected as a National Elite Trial Law Firm 2021 Award Winner July 30, 2021
NEW YORK CITY – Trial law firm AZA is being honored as a National Elite Trial Law Firm for the stunning federal jury verdict secured for a group of ER doctors being grossly underpaid by national managed care company Centene (NYSE: CNC).
The firm and lead lawyer John Zavitsanos were honored in the insurance liability category by respected legal news publication National Law Journal. The 21 national honorees, in a variety of legal practice categories, were announced at an awards presentation in New York City on July 29. AZA was the only Texas-based firm to win.
The six-day trial that earned the National Law Journal’s attention was conducted in person in Arkansas during the heart of the COVID-19 pandemic. The verdict, including fees, totaled $12 million after the six jurors found in favor of Southeastern Emergency Physicians, LLC, an affiliate of TeamHealth Inc.
The jury in U.S. District Judge Brian S. Miller’s court found that the defendants, which included Centene affiliates, grossly underpaid and breached their agreement with the emergency room doctors. The verdict ranked among the Top 100 Verdicts nationally for 2020, according to VerdictSearch.
“The Centene defendants tried to cheat these hardworking emergency room doctors,” Mr. Zavitsanos said after the verdict. “They treated commercial insurance claims like Medicare payments, they tried to hide which company owed the money, they paid late. Their cavalier attitude toward these essential workers was abominable.”
Mr. Zavitsanos noted that his legal team was hired “literally a week before the trial and recovered every penny we asked for.” That’s not so unusual for the AZA trial team, which has gained a national reputation for saving the day for clients who turn to the firm to salvage a case that is headed in the wrong direction under different legal counsel.
“I am incredibly honored and flattered to have the firm included among this group of who have received this distinction,” Mr. Zavitsanos said. “The best part was we were able to represent nurses, doctors, nurse practitioners and other health professionals who work in emergency rooms who truly have served as America’s heroes over the last year and a half.” Mr. Zavitsanos tried the case with AZA Of Counsel Kevin Leyendecker and AZA associate Michael Killingsworth
AZA, or Ahmad, Zavitsanos & Mensing, is a Houston-based law firm that is home to true courtroom lawyers with a formidable track record in complex commercial litigation, including energy, healthcare, intellectual property, and business dispute cases. AZA is recognized by Chambers USA 2021 among the best in Texas commercial law and intellectual property; by U.S. News – Best Lawyers’ Best Law Firms as one of the country’s best commercial litigation firms for nine years running; has been named Litigation Department of the Year by Texas Lawyer; and was previously dubbed by Law360 a Texas Powerhouse law firm. National corporate counsel named AZA one of the country’s best in client service among law firms serving the Fortune 500.