$10 Million Verdict Against Fortis for Cancellation of Health Insurance Upheld

The cancellation of an insured's health insurance on false pretenses resulted in a $10 million verdict against Fortis Insurance Company. The Supreme Court of South Carolina upheld the verdict in a recent decision.

Fortis, which is now known as Assurant Health, cancelled the health insurance of Jerome Mitchell Jr. solely because a nurse wrote down the wrong date of an HIV diagnosis test.  Later, the insurance company was twice presented with evidence showing the correct date of the test but it refused to reinstate Mitchell's health insurance for over two years, during which time Mitchell was unable to get proper medical treatment. 

The South Carolina Supreme Court labeled the insurance company's conduct "highly reprehensible" and upheld a jury verdict awarding $1.1 million in damages to cover the medical treatment that Mitchell should have received and a $10 million punitive damage award.

Lexington, Kentucky insurance lawyer Robert L. Abell represents individuals and families with regard to insurance claims cases.

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