August 08, 2013

Palm Beach Gardens, FLA. - A confidential settlement has been reached in a denial of care lawsuit filed by Palm Beach County resident Philip Gillig, III against his insurer United Healthcare.  The case settled weeks before a trial was set to heard in the 15th Judicial Circuit.  The originating complaint alleged Mr. Gillig fell into septic shock after multiple attempts to gain HMO authorization for treatment failed due to a “full” voice mail.

On October 25, 2011, Mr. Gillig informed his doctor of discharge from his bellybutton and was treated for an infection.  However, two weeks later he was admitted under emergency conditions to Delray Beach Medical Center.  A CT revealed an abscess and the hospital recommended he be transferred to a skilled nursing facility for intravenous antibiotic therapy.  The hospital, along with his wife and doctors called the number on his insurance card to gain authorization from United Healthcare. All received an error message that the voicemail was full and messages could not be received at that time. On December 17, 2011, Mr. Gillig fell into septic shock, an overwhelming infection with life threatening consequences. 

The lawsuit filed by Leopold Law argued that Mr. Gillig’s care was frequently delayed for days as his infection worsened, because United failed to provide access to treatment. 

Ted Leopold, Managing Partner at the Consumer Justice firm Leopold Law, P.A. represented Mr. Gillig in a denial of care lawsuit against United Healthcare Defendants.  He stated, “Despite Phillip Gillig’s declining condition, United failed to provide timely access to care and administer medically necessary benefits. The bureaucratic process that controls the HMO system places profits over patients’ needs, and in this case, seriously jeopardized the health of our client.”