Rob Gianelli of Gianelli & Morris and Rene Kern of the Kern Law Group
obtained a $7,225,000 jury verdict on behalf of plaintiff Terry LaRue,
against Accountable Health Care, IPA ("Accountable") for failure
to provide LaRue with timely and necessary medical services, resulting
in a permanent and disabling injury to his hand.
Mr. LaRue’s health plan, Health Net, contracted with Accountable
to create a network of doctors under Mr. LaRue’s Affordable Care
Act plan. Accountable also agreed with Health Net to authorize referrals
to specialists for Health Net members when they needed it.
Mr. LaRue fell and sustained a Bennett’s fracture of his left hand.
This type of fracture requires surgery within 10 – 14 days to avoid
permanent problems. Unfortunately, Accountable took more than six weeks
to provide Mr. LaRue with the much-needed surgery. Due to the delay, LaRue’s
bone healed in a misaligned position resulting in Complex Regional Pain
Syndrome, a chronic pain believed to be caused by damage to the nerves.
After a two and one-half week trial, a unanimous jury awarded Mr. LaRue
$7,225,000 in economic and non-economic damages based on Accountable’s
negligence and violation of Civil Code section 3428, a law relating to
managed care entities.
“Despite being advised of the seriousness of Terry’s injury,
Accountable took no steps to authorize surgery for his hand,” said
Mr. Gianelli. “We are thrilled to bring this two-year legal battle
to a successful close and hold Accountable responsible for its negligence
and inadequate network of physicians.”
“Patients who enroll in health plans and pay premiums rightly assume
they will be provided with timely, accessible health care,” said
Mr. Kern. “We hope our efforts in revealing Accountable’s
negligent and unlawful practices will prevent similar situations from
occurring in the future. Sadly, Terry still has to suffer tremendous pain.”