August 20, 2013

Palm Beach Gardens and Orlando, FLA. - A lawsuit has been filed in the 9th Judicial Circuit Court (CASE NO: 2013-CA-010345-O, Orange County, Florida), against Travelers insurance and its Third Party Administrators for delaying and denying Joanne Hebert medically necessary care after she suffered a work place injury.  The lawsuit alleges that the defendants conspired with medical providers in an attempt to deny that the workplace accident was the contributing cause of Hebert’s injuries.

On February 18, 2012, 70 year old Joanne Hebert, injured her back lifting a heavy box while working as a sales agent for AAA Auto Club South, Inc.  She filed a worker’s compensation claim with Travelers Insurance, the servicing agent for her employer.  An x-ray and subsequent MRI of her spine revealed that she had suffered a compression fracture with a 60% loss in height as a result of the workplace injury.  Despite recommendations from an orthopedic surgeon advising that the fracture may continue to compress without treatment such as bracing and/or a kyphoplasty, the defendants sought to stonewall Hebert’s access to treatment.  The lawsuit alleges that even after the insurers chosen surgeon validated her injuries, the company failed to authorize the medically necessary care by displacing blame, claiming her condition was caused by osteoporosis.  

As the insurance company and its Third Party Administrators sought to deny liability, Joanne Hebert’s condition continued to deteriorate.  Her orthopedic surgeon warned that she was suffering from a cascading severe compression deformity, which could be prevented by early intervention.  Unfortunately, as time passed, her injuries were exacerbated to the point where the prescribed path of treatment was no longer an option, and the remaining recourse was a major surgical procedure that would be require her spine to be broken and repositioned.  Her doctor contended that such a procedure is extremely risky at her age, and as a result, Joanne Hebert will have to suffer from a hunch back, totally disabled and in a constant state of pain. 

Theodore J. Leopold, Managing Partner at Leopold Law, P.A., is representing Joanne Hebert in her denial of care lawsuit against Travelers and its various affiliates.  Leopold has represented plaintiffs across the nation who suffered egregious harm and permanent catastrophic injuries as a result of managed care corporations denying medically critical treatment.  At the filing of this case, Leopold said, “Joanne Hebert had every opportunity to fully recover from her injury had she received the reasonable standard of care provided for under her benefits.  Instead of accepting responsibility, the insurers sought a scapegoat, and have deprived her of her quality of life, leaving her no remedy other than to fight this grave injustice in the courts.”  

Complaint - Filed 8/12/13