In a lawsuit that seems like a scene out of Michael Moore’s SICKO recent film on the U.S. health system, CIGNA is facing a lawsuit after it denied coverage to Nataline Sarkisyan who needed a liver transplant. The California teenager, 17, died at the University of California, Los Angeles Medical Center despite the fact that a match was found weeks previously. CIGNA HealthCare decided that the procedure was “too experimental” to try — or least pay for. Now, there is a called for manslaughter charges against CIGNA — and a likely tort action.
It could make for a compelling tort action, but will likely run into contractual and legal protections given to insurance carriers. The case may increase demands for state and federal legislators to examine those contractual and legal provisions. When death is the alternative, an “experimental” procedure is better than no procedure. Then again, I am only a juris doctor.
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