In November 2018 our firm won a landmark civil action suit against Aetna, who awarded our client 25.5 million dollars, which is the largest verdict in an individual "bad faith" insurance case in Oklahoma history.

The basis of this case was the denial of coverage for Orrana Cunningham in 2014. Cunningham, a stage 4 nasopharyngeal cancer patient, had a tumor growing near her brain stem.

In an attempt to avoid the harmful effects of more common radiation treatments due to the sensitive location of the cancer, her doctors recommended proton beam therapy. This form of cancer treatment is more precise and can more accurately target tumors.

Aetna, her insurer, deemed this treatment investigational and experimental and denied her coverage for the therapy.

That didn’t deter Orrana or her husband Ron, a former Oklahoma City firefighter. They fought on and tried to raise the $92,082.19 necessary to pay for the therapy. They began a GoFundMe page and even mortgaged their home, which they had built together.

Sadly, on May 30, 2015, at the age of 54, Orrana passed away. Before she died, however, she began the process of filing initial paperwork to sue Aetna for wrongful denial of treatment. Ron, a cancer survivor himself, decided to continue the fight in her stead. With our firm as legal counsel, he took Aetna to court.

During the trial, Aetna argued that the coverage denials by three different medical directors were justified. They also continued to claim that proton beam therapy was experimental.

The jury didn’t agree. After hearing arguments that Aetna failed to evaluate Cunningham’s requests with the proper attention or due diligence and that proton beam therapy wasn’t actually experimental. They awarded $15.5 million in emotional damages and an additional $10 million in punitive damages.

Doug Terry, lead attorney for the Cunninghams, told CNN, "We believe this case pulled the curtain back on what goes on at a health insurance company when claims are being denied," Terry said. "The jury's verdict delivered the message that the public will not stand for insurance companies putting profits before policyholders."

We at DeWitt Paruolo Meek Attorneys were proud and honored to get justice for Orrana and Ron Cunningham. We pride ourselves on our dedication to the Oklahoma community. If you need our help, we’ll be dedicated to you.