“Arlene Hull, a 90-year-old Montana woman, has won a lawsuit against an insurance company that refused to pay her nursing home bills and now must pony up millions.” - The Huffington Post
Earlier this month, a federal court jury in Montana found that an elderly woman’s health insurer acted intentionally and with malice in cutting off the woman’s long term care health benefits. The woman had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease. The bad faith lawsuit and trial has been reported by The Huffington Post and in the woman’s hometown paper here. As reported, the jury rejected the health insurer’s rationale for cutting off benefits - the company had claimed that “Hull did not need ‘continual supervision due to a severe cognitive impairment’ and that Hull’s doctor said she was ‘moderately’ not ‘severely’ impaired.” The woman’s bad faith lawyer brought claims that included breach of insurance contract, violation of the state’s consumer protection statutes, and the tort of bad faith. The total award against the insurance company was over $34 million.
The piece in The Huffington Post provided a nice overview of this type of insurance and how elderly consumers rely on the insurance to provide financial security:
“People purchase long-term-care insurance as a supplement to Medicare or retiree health benefits that cover major medical expenses. Long-term-care insurance is intended for types of expenses, such as home visitation by health care professionals or home aides or for institutional care in a nursing home or other facility, that health insurance may not cover.”
Insurance policies are contracts. When insurance companies refuse to honor the contract, a top RI bad faith lawyer can help bring legal claims such as these against the insurance company. As RI MA bad faith lawyers, we commend this woman’s personal injury lawyer for taking on a much larger and better financed opponent and taking her case through a federal jury trial.