Case Details


Attorney General Is Superior Representative Of The Public Interest In Cases Involving Non-profit Entities.

Filing State



Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court




In the Matter of the Receivership of Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, Inc., 434 Mass. 51; 746 N.E.2d 513 (Mass. 2001)


Attorney General has a statutory duty to protect the public interest in the lawful operation of nonprofit entities.

Case Description

A nonprofit consumer group (Health Care for All), was permitted, essentially as an amicus curiae, to participate in an appeal from the receivership proceedings for one of the state’s largest non-profit HMOs. The group argued that the public’s interest was not protected sufficiently by a rehabilitation plan for the HMO which was proposed by the Attorney General and the Insurance Commissioner and approved by a single Justice of the Supreme Judicial Court. In dismissing the public interest group’s appeal, the Court stated, “Health Care also does not fully take into account the statutory duty of the Attorney General to protect the public interest in the lawful operation of nonprofit entities. In complying with this duty, the Attorney General cannot disregard considering the potential consequences to HPHC’s members associated with the implementation of any proposed rehabilitation plan. The Supreme Judicial Court also set out guidelines for future proceedings of this nature, noting, “The commissioner and the Attorney General (when he is a party) are public officials who are charged with representing the interests of the public, and protecting the interests and expectations, to the extent possible, of policyholders of insurance companies and members of HMOs who may be adversely affected by the receivership as well as creditors, guaranty funds, reinsurers and others.”