A court in Arizona has ruled that statistical sampling is legal for determining damages awarded to individual claimants when there are thousands of similar cases to be assessed simultaneously. In a case where 30,000 claims were filed Maricopa County, AZ by hospitals for improper reimbursement, the trial judge appointed a former judge as a special master in the case to resolve all the claims within 24 months. The special master in turn hired a statistician who drew a sample of 1,150 claims that would be used as the basis for all claims.
The county appealed this process, claiming due process rights of the hospitals were violated. The appellate court ruled that sampling was valid, but sent the case back to the trial court to validate that an appropriate sampling process was used. that the viability of the sampling methods or even whether the methods chosen were properly implemented and complies with all the necessary legal principles.
The case is Scottsdale Memorial et al. v Maricopa County CA-CV 07-0150.