A Los Angeles County jury awarded greater than $14 million this week to a lady who sued her medical insurance supplier alleging that the corporate’s lengthy delay in approving surgical procedure for a painful situation led to her opioid dependency.
Well being Web was ordered to pay $7.5 million in punitive damages and $6.9 million in compensatory damages after the jury discovered that the corporate had delayed or denied care with out correct trigger, leading to hurt to the plaintiff, Elaine Courtney.
Well being Web, which additionally administers Medi-Cal well being plans, mentioned it was “exploring [its] choices to attraction.”
“Well being Web believes the decision within the trial is flawed,” the corporate mentioned in an announcement. “We are going to proceed to vigorously defend our place in courtroom in addition to our document of offering high quality care to tens of millions of Californians.”
Courtney filed go well with towards Well being Web after her makes an attempt to have surgical procedure for a painful colorectal situation have been repeatedly delayed months at a time, her legal professional Travis Corby mentioned in an interview.
Whereas Courtney awaited last approval for the process, Well being Web didn’t make its specialists out there to her, in response to the lawsuit. She was ultimately prescribed opioid drugs for ache administration.
Medical doctors have been hoping Courtney would endure the process inside 4 to 6 weeks of the prescription, Corby mentioned.
Two weeks after receiving the prescription, she contacted Well being Web a number of instances, asking once more for the surgical procedure and expressing a want to be off the ache drugs, however the surgical procedure was delay by six months, Corby mentioned.
“They by no means did present her surgical procedure until months later, and she or he grew to become predictably depending on the medicine and couldn’t kick the behavior,” he mentioned.