LOS ANGELES (AP) — A Los Angeles jury has awarded a paraplegic man $19 million after his insurance company decided it was not medically necessary for him to have spent 109 days in the hospital.

The jury deliberated for less than two hours on Wednesday before delivering its verdict.

In 2008 Thomas Nickerson, a former marine, fell off a ramp while trying to get into his van and broke his leg in two places. Nickerson was admitted to Veterans Hospital in Long Beach where doctors determined he needed to stay for 109 days but his insurance company, Stonebridge Life Insurance, only agreed to pay him for 19 days.

The insurance company was supposed to help him pay for bills outside of his medical care such as rent.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Comments (6)
  1. SDK says:

    It’s sad that vets are treated like this. Also said knowing that there are other like him who are suffering without treatment because they can’t afford to fight the system. Lastly, its sad that $19M is going to one person who was wronged, when it could have been used to treat all of the people who needed to if the insurance company had done the right thing in the first place.

  2. johnny chingas says:

    Smooth move stonebridge, instead of shelling out a few thousand bucks your greed costed you a few million!

  3. Robear says:

    By the time the insurance Co. has appealed three times, the hospital bills have been paid and the lawyers have taken their cut, this poor fellow will be lucky if he’s got enough to buy himself a new wheelchair…

    Sounds like a big settlement, but really, it will get nickeled and dimed to nothing in no time flat!

    1. Jenny says:

      you are so right about the money.
      He will be lucky to see a dime of it.

  4. swhitS says:

    Totally right about the money. He will see nothing but pennies.

  5. JAB says:

    I think he will come into a decent amount of money, but not even close to 19 mil. I wonder how much the CEO of the insurance makes a year cheating clients out of benefits. How does someone like that justify their income and live with themselves. Maybe its the new aMErica that we are suffering with.

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