A california judge has awarded over $9 million in damages to a California women. Patsy Bates said she had undergone surgery to remove a tumor and had received her first two chemotherapy treatments when doctors stopped treating her because her bills were going unpaid. Health Net Inc must now pay the $120,000 in unpaid medical bills, $750,000 in emotional distress, and over $8 million in punitive damages. The case was arbitrated by Sam Cianchetti and Ms. Bates was represented by California bad faith attorney William Shernoff.
Kentucky is lucky in that we have strong bad faith laws to help protect consumers from unfair insurance practices, including unfair claims denial. However, many times Kentucky's bad faith laws provide no protection becuase most health insurance polices these days are ERISA policies, meaning they are governed by federal law. If an ERISA insurance company denies a claim they generally are immune from bad faith lawsuits. Unfair, but reality.
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