Family of Nataline Sarkisyan Sues Cigna over Refusal to Pay for Liver Transplant
Posted Dec 29 2008 6:00pm
Almost precisely one year ago, I wrotehere andhere andhereabout the Nataline Sarkiyan case from Los Angeles in which Cigna refused to cover a liver transplant for a 17-year-old girl at UCLA.
Today'sNew York Timesreports that Nataline's family has sued Cigna in Los Angeles County Superior Court. The complaint alleges causes of action for breach of contract, unfair business practices and intentional infliction of emotional distress. It accuses Cigna of delaying and rejecting valid claims, which resulted in the wrongful death of Nataline.
In theSan Francisco Chronicle, Chris Curran, a spokesman for Cigna, said the company empathizes with the family but feels the lawsuit is without merit. Curran said Cigna volunteered to pay for the procedure out of its own pocket and not the employer's. "This decision was made despite the fact that Cigna had no obligation to do so and despite concluding, based on the information available, that the treatment would be unproven and ineffective and therefore experimental and not covered by the employer's benefit plan," Curran said, reading from a statement.