HOUSTON, Aug. 23, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- The Houston law firm of McGehee, Chang, Barnes is announcing a $3.4 million verdict handed down against Austin-based Medicus Insurance Company after jurors found that the company committed unfair and deceptive practices when it wrongly denied insurance coverage to a Dallas doctor.
In the verdict issued Aug. 17, 2011, a Dallas County jury found that Medicus misrepresented the quality and standards of its indemnification practices, resulting in millions of dollars in damages for the doctor.
"The insurance company tried to write between the lines of its own policy to save itself some money," says Houston lawyer Jack McGehee, a former lead medical malpractice attorney for the U.S. Army. "If an insurance company wants to deny policyholders, then it needs to make those reasons clear in the policy, not pull them from thin air after the fact."
Medicus denied the insurance claim after the doctor was sued by a former patient. The doctor, who was covering for the patient's attending physician, testified that his only involvement consisted of two phone calls about the patient's care during an overnight hospital shift. Unknown to the doctor, the patient became permanently paralyzed. Medicus argued that the doctor should have notified the company about the possibility of the lawsuit.
"The doctor's practice group had purchased a Medicus 'claims-made' policy, meaning that a malpractice claim made during the policy period would be covered by Medicus," says Stephen Barnes, a lawyer with McGehee, Chang, Barnes who is also a doctor. "Our physicians need insurance companies to keep their word."
The case is Colombrito v Medicus Insurance Company, No. DC-10-02691. The verdict was issued in the 14th District Court in Dallas County.
McGehee, Chang, Barnes represents individuals and businesses injured by the misconduct of others by combining its compassion for clients with an aggressive pursuit of each lawsuit. The firm's litigation team includes a doctor who also is trained as a lawyer and attorneys with extensive expertise in business matters.
For more information on the jury verdict against Medicus Insurance, contact Mary Flood at [email protected] or 800-559-4534.
SOURCE McGehee, Chang, Barnes