Lake Case Timeline
April 2012 – a class action lawsuit filed against the State Health Plan as I. Beverly Lake, et al v. State Health Plan and State Employees, et al. The suit included 26 named plaintiffs who all retired from the State of North Carolina. The named Plaintiffs are now retired State employees who were formerly employed in a wide range of positions within the North Carolina state government, including members of the judiciary (including a former Chief Justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court and a former North Carolina Court of Appeals Judge), presidents and superintendents of community colleges and local school systems, teachers, law enforcement personnel and administrators. The complaint was filed in Gaston County, North Carolina by Michael Carpenter and Christopher Whelchel of the law firm of Gray, Layton, Kersh, Solomon, Furr & Smith, P.A. and Gary Jackson and Sam McGee of Charlotte, North Carolina.
November 2012 – The case was designated a 2.1 exceptional case by the Chief Justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court and Judge Edward Wilson was appointed the designated Judge.
Spring 2013 – Plaintiffs successfully defeated the State’s Motion to Dismiss. This prompted the State to appeal Judge Wilson’s decision to the North Carolina Court of Appeals.
June 2014 – The North Carolina Court of Appeals affirmed Judge Wilson’s denial of the Motion to Dismiss, resulting in the case proceeding at the trial court level.
July of 2014 – The State filed a second appeal to the North Carolina Supreme Court of the Court of Appeals decision.
December 2014 – The North Carolina Supreme Court denied the State’s Petition and Writ and dismissed the appeal. Two formal mediation sessions were held, but no significant progress was made toward a settlement.
November 2014 – A formal offer of settlement was made by the Plaintiffs, but the State has never responded to the offer.
December 2014 – January 2016 – Discovery proceedings continued at the trial court level. Depositions and discovery are ongoing and should end by the summer of 2016.
Summer 2016 – It is anticipated that the Plaintiffs will file a Motion for Class Certification and the Court will rule on that Motion in the Summer of 2016. Proceedings for Summary Judgment will likely follow in the late Summer and Fall of 2016. No trial date has been set.
November 2016 – In September of this year, the lawsuit was expanded to a class action to cover more than 220,000 members. On November 14, 2016 Lake et al. v. State Health Plan et al., in a Summary Judgement Hearing was before Judge Wilson in Superior Court in Forsyth County. Click on the link below to read a brief overview of the hearing drafted by our attorneys.
At the hearing, Judge Wilson heard arguments from both the defense and plaintiffs. After both sides had completed their arguments, Judge Wilson indicated that he hoped to rule on the case the first or second week in December.
Judge Wilson has a number of options in his ruling which are detailed in the summary provided.