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Implications Of Nickerson V. Stonebridge

Law360 (March 30, 2011, 12:28 PM EDT) -- On March 16, a Los Angeles County jury awarded Thomas Nickerson — a 59-year-old paraplegic and former Marine — $19,035,000 after a trial in which Nickerson alleged his insurer, Stonebridge Life Insurance Co., paid for only 19 of his 109-day inpatient hospitalization at the Veteran’s Administration Hospital in Long Beach, Calif. The total inpatient billed charges were $38,150. This jury awarded $35,000 for pain and suffering and $19 million in punitive damages.

As alleged, in 2008, Nickerson fell from a wheelchair ramp and sustained multiple, compound...
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