A Montana woman has won a $34.2 million verdict against Ability Insurance Company for the bad-faith termination of her assisted living insurance benefits. Arlene Hull, age 90, lived in an assisted living facility after having been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease in 2007. Her insurance company, Ability Insurance Company of Omaha, Nebraska, terminated her assisted living benefits (the money she used to pay the facility where she lived) claiming that she had improved and no longer suffered severe cognitive impairment. The jury's verdict included $250,000 for breach of contract, $2 million for violation of Montana's Unfair Trade Practices Act and $32 million in punitive damages.
Source: Yahoo News
The jury in this case was obviously outraged by the insurance company's bad-faith conduct, as shown by the $32 million in punitive damages assessed. That sum will be reduced at least to $10 million, because Montana has a punitive damage cap. But the insurance company appears to have got what it deserved for terminating the benefits on a 90-year old woman and claiming that her Alzheimer's had improved so much that she no longer qualified for coverage.
Lexington, Kentucky bad-faith insurance lawyer Robert Abell represents individuals and families in disputes with insurance companies; contact him at 859-254-7076.