OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) – A jury has ordered Aetna to pay more than $ 25 million to the family of…
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) – A jury has ordered Aetna to pay more than $ 25 million to the family of an Oklahoma City woman who died one year after the insurance company refused to cover a type of radiation therapy.
Judges found that Aetna doctors did not spend enough time examining Orrana Cunningham’s cases before denying her prototype coverage coverage in 2014, The Oklahoman reported. The jury ruled that Aetna ruthlessly ignored its duty to treat fairly and in good faith with Cunningham, who had nasopharyngeal cancer.
Aetna is considering appeal against the verdict issued this week. Company lawyer John Shely said that the insurer is trying to do the right thing.
“If it is in our control to change, then we will do it,” said Shely. “Aetna has learned something here.”
An Aetna doctor rejected Cunningham coverage for the 201
4 therapy and considered it experimental. Two other internal doctors reviewed and enforced the decision.
The Food and Drug Administration had approved proton beam treatment, which is also a treatment covered by Medicare, according to Doug Terry, family lawyer. He claimed that Aetna denied coverage for economic reasons and that his doctors were unqualified, overworked and delighted when making decisions. Court records show that a doctor complained to the insurer about having to review more than 80 cases per day.
After being denied coverage, Cunningham and her husband decided to lend their home in Meeker, about 56 miles from Oklahoma City, to pay for Texas therapy. She died in May 2015 at the age of 54.
“My wife, her goal, was to do this battle,” said Ron Cunningham. “Her comment was,” If we can save a person and stop Aetna from doing what they traditionally do in every statement, it was worth the battle. “”
Information from: The Oklahoman, http: // www.newsok.com