An Illinois couple won a $14.3 million judgment against the state’s largest medical malpractice insurer. Alizabeth and Elvin Hana won a medical malpractice lawsuit alleging that ISMIE Mutual Insurance acted in bad faith. The judgment includes $1.35 million in compensatory damages, as well as $13 million in punitive damages against the medical malpractice insurer. An attorney for the insurance provider told reporters that the company “plan(s) to pursue all appropriate post-verdict relief.”
Details of the Medical Malpractice Insurer Lawsuit
In 2004, Mrs. Hana gave birth to a daughter at Rush North Shore Hospital in Skokie. The infant sustained a brain injury due to oxygen deprivation and died in 2007. The Hanas sued the hospital, the obstetricians and the emergency room doctors. The couple reached a settlement with the hospital and the ER doctors for $1.5 million. In 2009, they won a judgment against the obstetricians for $6.17 million. However, the medical malpractice insurer had placed limits of $3 million for the infant’s death and $2 million for the mother’s injury.
Medical Malpractice Insurer Lawsuit Alleges Bad Faith
The medical malpractice insurer paid $3.3 million toward the judgment. The couple sued the company, claiming that they were owed another $1.3 million. The suit alleged that the medical malpractice insurer misrepresented their coverage amounts to the obstetricians. The suit also claims that ISMIE failed to disclose a settlement offer between the Hanas and the obstetricians that would have lowered the amount the doctors would have been forced to pay.
Medical Malpractice Insurer Lawsuit History
According to the Hanas’ attorney, the medical malpractice insurer has had a long history of bad faith cases. The company has faced at least 25 lawsuits alleging bad faith practices since 2005. The attorney told reporters that her clients’ lawsuit against the medical malpractice insurer was “the first time their business practices had been put on trial.” She also remarked that ISMIE tends to either win its cases or settle out of court with plaintiffs “the vast majority of the time.”
Source: Chicago Tribune
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