A judge is approving a settlement in a nationwide class-action lawsuit that covers plaintiffs in Alabama and eight other states.

The California judge has acknowledged a proposed agreement by Tenet Healthcare to settle a nationwide suit that accuses the operator of acute-care hospitals of overcharging uninsured and underinsured patients.

An attorney who represents the plaintiffs says those who received treatment at Tenet-run hospitals between June 15, 1999, and December 31st will be eligible for restitution.

Dallas-based Tenet is also agreeing not to charge uninsured patients a managed care rate at any of the hospitals it runs in 19 states for a four-year period.

Tenet and its subsidiaries didn’t admit any wrongdoing.

Documents show that some 32,000 claims have already been submitted in the case.

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