Health Insurer Ordered to Pay $25.5 Million For Wrongful Cancer Treatment Denial

In a timely followup to last week's discussion of how to fight health insurance denials, this week an Oklahoma jury ordered health insurer Aetna to pay $25.5 million for denying coverage for insured's Orrana Cunningham's cancer treatment bills.   Aetna had denied coverage for Orrana's treatment in 2014 on the basis it was "experimental;" after …

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Title Insurance Covers Tribal Fishing Rights Claims Against Landowner Says Court of Appeals

Title insurance is a critical part of most real estate deals.  In Washington and throughout the U.S., a piece of real estate has likely changed hands numerous times, including typical purchase money mortgage sales, foreclosures, bequests via a will or trust, or otherwise.  As a result, prudent people about to buy land or a home …

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Court of Appeals Reiterates Insurer’s Obligation to Protect Policyholder From Lawsuit

When a driver crashes into another vehicle and is sued for damages, the driver's insurer typically has an obligation to  defend the lawsuit and act in good faith to protect its insured's interests.  When the insurer fails to do so, the driver likely has legal recourse under Washington law. Washington's Court of Appeals recently reiterated …

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Washington Court of Appeals Emphasizes Insurers May Not Categorically Ignore Their Insureds’ Treating Physicians When Deciding Whether Injuries Are Covered

Shannon Leahy found herself in a common situation when dealing with her auto insurer following a car crash.  Her insurer agreed she was not at fault, but refused to pay her claim, arguing her medical treatment was unrelated to the crash.  Ms. Leahy’s doctors agreed her treatment was related to the crash, but State Farm …

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Washington Federal Court Rejects Insurer Efforts to Escape Lawsuit by Paying Benefits Retroactively

One important right policyholders have is to be fully compensated or "made whole" when the insurer improperly denies coverage or payment of benefits.  Some insurers argue, incorrectly, that they can avoid making the policyholder whole by paying the disputed policy benefit after the policyholder files a lawsuit.  That's incorrect because by the time the policyholder …

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