Insurance Bad Faith And The Death Of A Teenager

As serious injury attorneys we frequently see cases in which insurance companies refuse to pay for treatment for their insureds, knowing that any appeal by the insured will take months, if not years, and that there is no legal remedy which can force the companies to offer timely treatment. In fact, in many cases the only legal remedy is that the company will be required to pay what they already owe, with no allowance for attorney fees and expenses. Unfortunately, in many cases the remedy comes too late.
An article was just published describing how a 17-year old died just hours after her health insurance company reversed its decision not to pay for a liver transplant that doctors said the girl needed. Nataline Sarkisyan died last Thursday night at University of California, Los Angeles Medical Center. Nataline had been battling leukemia and received a bone marrow transplant from her brother. She developed a complication, however, that caused her liver to fail.
Doctors at UCLA determined she needed a transplant. They sent a letter to CIGNA Healthcare on Dec. 11. requesting approval for the procedure. Cigna denied payment for the transplant. Last Thursday, about 150 teenagers and nurses protested outside a California CIGNA office. The company then reversed its decision and said it would approve the transplant. But, it was too late.
Nataline’s mother was quoted as saying that CIGNA was responsible for her daughter’s death. CIGNA issued a press release stating that: “Our hearts go out to Nataline and her family, as they endure this terrible ordeal.”
This rings hollow, as CIGNA has just saved thousands of dollars to increase its profits.

Published on:

Comments are closed.

Contact Information