Disabled Woman Awarded $15.4 Million Dollars in Landmark Healthcare Suit Against Prudential Insurance Company of America

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Disabled woman awarded $15.4 million dollars in landmark healthcare suit against Prudential Insurance Company of America.

Darla Johnson, represented by Charles Moore and Sean Simpson of Simpson & Moore, LLP was awarded $15.4 million dollars in damages by a jury after a five-week trial in the San Diego Superior Court . (Case #GIE018815). Darla Johnson filed suit against Prudential Insurance for the unlawful termination of benefits under Ms. Johnson's disability insurance policy.

As a project manager in the University of California San Francisco's construction department, Ms. Johnson bought into a group plan providing coverage for income replacement if she became unable to work. In May 1995, Ms Johnson was diagnosed with Lupus, Fibromyalgia Syndrome, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, and Antiphospholipid Antibody Syndrome, and had to stop working.

After approximately five years of paying benefits, Prudential terminated Ms. Johnson's benefits. Two internal appeals were denied, and Ms. Johnson had to file suit to correct the wrongful termination of her policy benefits.

With no benefits and a life changing disability, Mrs. Johnson took Prudential Insurance to court on the basis that they had wrongly terminated her policy. Prudential maintained that Mrs. Johnson's benefits were properly terminate because Ms. Johnson was unable to provide sufficient objective evidence to substantiate her disability.

The jury in the San Diego Superior Court found Prudential Insurance guilty in wrong fully terminating Mrs. Johnson's policy. The jury awarded Ms. Johnson back benefits and future benefits totaling $982,082.00, plus general damages of $500,000.00 for the grief, humiliation and inconvenience caused by the improper termination of benefits and $14,000,000 in punitive damages.

"We feel our client has been vindicated by this verdict. This case is a landmark victory for anyone with Lupus, Fibromyalia Syndrome, Chronic Fatigure Syndrome, or other illness or syndrome for which there is limited objective medical evidence," Charles Moore of Simpson & Moore, LLP explained.

Other syndromes with similar uncertainty of diagnosis include Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, Gulf War Syndrome, and Auto-Immune Deficiency Syndrome.

"It's my sincere hope that this verdict will be a stepping stone for others to come forward who have had their insurance benefits wrongfully terminated. Hopefully, now people will know they can fight back, and don't have to bow down to the powers of the big insurance companies." Sean Simpson of Simpson & Moore, LLP noted.

The defense attorney for Prudential Insurance plans to appeal the verdict.


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Sean Simpson
Simpson Moore LLP
(619) 236-9696
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