Mike Sand, TLC ’02 Grad.
TLC warriors Mike Abourezk (TLC ’96 Grad) and Daniel Bidegaray (TLC ’04 Grad) helped Montana Jurors hold an insurance company accountable for their mistreatment of an elderly Alzheimer’s patient.
Arlene Hull, 90 and her husband, Bill spent most of their lives farming, ranching and raising a family near Billings, Montana. In 1997 they bought a long-term care policy from Medico Insurance Company. Bill died in 1998 and Arlene continued paying premiums so she would not be a burden to her family if she became disabled.
In 2007 Arlene was diagnosed with dementia. She became unable to care for herself and moved int St. John’s nursing home. Medico paid for Arlene’s care until they were purchased by Ability Resources Inc. of Omaha, Nebraska. In January 2010 Ability quit paying for the level of care that Arlene required claiming that she did not need “continual supervision due to a severe cognitive impairment”.
Jurors in Federal Court in Billings, Montana disagreed. After a 4 day trial, they sent a message to Omaha that our parents and grandparents deserve to be treated with dignity. Mike asked the jury to award somewhat more than ten million dollars damages including punitives.
After several hours of deliberations the jury awarded thirty four million dollars damages, the largest verdict in Montana history.
Here is a link to the Huffington Post article about this case: Insurance Company Ordered toPay $34 Million For Kicking 90-Year-Old Arlene Hull Off Plan