Prominent Attorney and Philanthropist Files Lawsuit Against Insurance Giant for Improperly Denying Coverage for Life Saving Cancer Treatment
Plaintiff Pledges to Donate Lawsuit Proceeds to Miami Cancer Institute
CORAL GABLES, Fla. (Apr. 24, 2019) – The law firm of Colson Hicks Eidson filed a class action lawsuit against United Healthcare Insurance Company on behalf of attorney Richard Cole, founder and managing partner of the Miami-based law firm Cole, Scott & Kissane, P.A., and all other plan beneficiaries nationwide, for improperly denying proton beam radiation therapy as a covered treatment for prostate cancer to potentially thousands of patients.
“This lawsuit seeks to benefit prostate cancer patients nationwide by requiring that United Healthcare cover previously denied proton beam radiation therapy or by compensating those who were forced to incur financial hardship by paying for this life-saving therapy out of pocket,” said attorney Stephanie A. Casey, a partner at Colson Hicks Eidson.
Proton beam radiation therapy (PBRT) is a procedure that uses protons to deliver a curative radiation dose to a tumor. Protons deposit their energy over a very small area and can be used to target high doses of radiation to a tumor, while doing less damage to normal tissues in front of and behind the tumor. By reducing doses of radiation to healthy tissues and organs, the use of PBRT results in fewer complications and side effects than traditional radiation therapy. There is overwhelming evidence that PBRT is safe and effective and is a generally accepted standard of medical practice for the treatment of cancer, including prostate cancer, within the medical community.
According to the lawsuit, until January 1, 2019, United Healthcare maintained a uniform policy of denying coverage for PBRT for the treatment of prostate cancer regardless of a patient’s individual circumstances and medical needs. The complaint alleges that United Healthcare denied coverage for PBRT to treat prostate cancer because, on average, it may be more expensive than traditional radiation therapy.
The suit further alleges that while United Healthcare modified its policy on January 1, 2019 and acknowledged that PBRT is a proven, safe and effective treatment for prostate cancer, the company continues to deny claims for authorization or reimbursement that were made before the new policy took effect.
“This class action lawsuit seeks to require United Healthcare to reprocess claims that were denied based on the pre-January 1, 2019 medical policy for insureds nationwide,” added Casey.
“Richard Cole is one of the most successful and well-respected attorneys in America. His legacy of philanthropy and community service is unmatched. In 2019, he donated $20 million to the University of Florida Levin College of Law health law program and $10 million to the Miami Cancer Institute to support research and clinical trials for patients battling cancer,” said Colson Hicks Eidson partner Dean Colson.
In fact, Cole has pledged to donate any award he may personally receive through this lawsuit to the Miami Cancer Institute.
“My hope is that this lawsuit will provide relief to thousands of patients nationwide who are battling prostate cancer and were denied benefits they were rightly entitled to,” said Cole.
The case is Richard Cole v. United Healthcare Insurance Company, No. 19-21258, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida. The Honorable Federico A. Moreno has been assigned to the case.
For more information on this lawsuit, contact Dean Colson or Stephanie A. Casey at 305.476.7400.
ABOUT COLSON HICKS EIDSON
The Law Firm of Colson Hicks Eidson is a trial firm with more than 50 years of experience handling local, national and international litigation, and arbitration. Members of the firm have been involved in some of the country’s most high-profile and landmark cases resulting in impactful and precedential rulings. A mid-size firm with a diverse staff comprised of more than 50 percent women and minorities, Colson Hicks Eidson prides itself on a track record of developing future leaders within the legal profession and its civic and community involvement. Members of the firm have held notable positions serving on the boards of prominent institutions, such as the State University System of Florida and the Florida State Board of Education, and holding high-ranking offices, including President of the 60,000-member American Association for Justice; President of the International Academy of Trial Lawyers; President of the Dade County Bar Association; President of the Miami-Dade Florida Association of Women Lawyers; United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida; and Chairman of the Florida Federal Judicial Nominating Commission.