The South Carolina Supreme Court orders an insurance company to pay $10 million for wrongly revoking the insurance policy of a 17-year-old college student after he tested positive for HIV. The court called insurance conglomerate Fortis NVs 2002 decision "reprehensible", reports Murray Waas at the Huffington Post.
"The Court ordered an insurance company to pay $10 million [dropped from a lower court's $15 million ruling] for wrongly revoking the insurance policy of a 17-year-old college student after he tested positive for HIV. ' That appears to be the most an insurance company has ever been ordered to pay in a case involving the practice known as rescission, in which insurance companies retroactively cancel coverage for policyholders based on alleged misstatements—sometimes right after diagnoses of life-threatening diseases. …
Jerome Mitchell learned that he had HIV when, while heading to college, he donated blood. Fortis then rescinded his coverage, citing what turned out to be an erroneous note from a nurse in his medical records that indicated that he might have been diagnosed prior to his obtaining his insurance policy. Before the cancellation of the policy, an underwriter working for Fortis wrote to a committee considering whether or not to rescind his policy: 'Technically, we do not have the results of the HIV tests. This is the only entry in the medical records regarding HIV status. Is it sufficient?' The underwriter's concerns were ignored and the rescission went forward."
What's even more remarkable about South Carolina Supreme Court Chief Justice Jean Hoefer Toal's ruling is that it comes from a conservative court in a very conservative Southern state "with one of the most pro-business climates in the country."
Oh and what was that meme about "death panels"?
Thanks DARVIN and DANNY R