Beverly Hill Litigator Earns the Award for a Helping a Disabled Client Whose Claim for a Prosthetic was Unfairly Denied
Conal Doyle has spent his career fighting for the rights of those who have been disadvantaged or victimized.
On Nov. 21, he was honored to be recognized by the Consumer Attorneys of California (CAOC) for one such effort.
Doyle earned the prestigious “Streetfighter of the Year” award from the COAC during its annual awards ceremony. The ceremony, which is held as part of the larger COAC convention, was staged virtually this year due to the COVD-19 pandemic.
Doyle was recognized for his work on behalf of an amputee who was unfairly denied a prosthetic limb by an insurer. Doyle shared the award with two other attorneys who worked on the case, Robert Gianelli and Joshua Davis.
By winning the case, Doyle was able to get the insurer to revise its unfair policy — and retroactively approve similar claims they had denied over a five-year period.
The Facts Behind the Case
After taking the case, formally known as Trujillo and Harden v. United Healthcare Insurance Company, Doyle discovered that United Healthcare, the nation’s largest health insurer, was denying prosthetic limbs to amputees insured through group health plans. Doyle established that United denied claims without identifying an alternative device that would meet the insured’s functional needs. The health insurer also improperly denied claims if even one of multiple component parts that comprise a prosthetic limb were deemed by United to be “not covered.”
United’s denial letters did not inform the insured that some component parts were covered or that an alternative device would be covered if requested. As a result, prosthetic claims nationwide were denied or delayed, leaving amputees with valid insurance coverage without the use of a prosthetic limb.
Gianelli and Davis took the lead on the legal and class issues, while Doyle secured the deposition testimony establishing the unlawful claims practices. The case was settled the week prior to trial, forcing United to change its unlawful claims practices and reprocess more than 1,000 prosthetic claims that had been denied over a five-year period.
About the COAC
Consumer Attorney of the Year is awarded to a CAOC member or members who significantly advanced the rights or safety of California consumers by achieving a noteworthy result in a case.
Eligibility for Street Fighter of the Year is limited to CAOC members who have practiced law for no more than 10 years or work in a firm with no more than five attorneys.
To be considered for either award the case must have been resolved between May 15, 2019 and May 15, 2020, with no further legal work to occur, including appeals. The winners are determined by a vote of CAOC’s Board of Directors.
If you need assistance with an insurance dispute, we urge you to contact Doyle Law. We can help you schedule a fast consultation — and we will fight for you every step of the way.