Insurance Firm Pulled Plug On Dying Patient Says Lawsuit


A health insurance company is being sued by the family of a woman that died from the eating disorder anorexia, with the lawsuit claiming that the insurance firm denied care to the young woman when she was in hospital being treated for the disorder.

The father of Janell Smith, who was from San Diego, said that the insurance firm pulled the plug on his daughter’s care by refusing to cover her hospitalisation. Janell was hospitalized in 2003 weighing just sixty eight pounds and aged just twenty six.

Her family state that after three weeks in hospital her health seemed to be improving, although she had been kept alive by tubes up until then. Her father said that her insurance firm then called. He stated: “The counselor said, ‘Nobody’s talked to us about next-step strategies. In fact, we don’t support this. The insurance company is pulling the plug.’ That was her words.”

Janell’s sister added: “Had she been able to get the care she needed and had the doctors said, ‘You know, she’s at a good place, and she can go into an outpatient program,’ I believe she’d be with us today. I really do.”


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