October 20, 2014
LOS ANGELES (AP) - A Los Angeles jury has awarded a paraplegic man $19 million after his insurance company decided it was not medically necessary for him to have spent 109 days in the hospital.
The jury deliberated for less than two hours on Wednesday before delivering its verdict.
In 2008 Thomas Nickerson, a former marine, fell off a ramp while trying to get into his van and broke his leg in two places. Nickerson was admitted to Veterans Hospital in Long Beach where doctors determined he needed to stay for 109 days but his insurance company, Stonebridge Life Insurance, only agreed to pay him for 19 days.
The insurance company, which could not immediately be reached for comment, was supposed to help him pay for bills outside of his medical care such as rent.