There’s a new case to add to Burzynski’s long list of lawsuits.
On 13th April 2013, Vern Richert, individually and as representative of the Estate of his wife Meridee Richert, filed a petition against Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota (BCBSM) and Dr S R Burzynski, dba Burzynski Clinic.
Meridee Richert was a patient at the Burzynski Clinic and passed away on 28th July 2011.
According to Mr Richert’s petition, in January, 2010, Mrs Richert was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Her health insurance policy with BCBSM provided payment for medical expenses in the event of an injury or illness. She sought treatment with Dr Burzynski, who represented that he and the Burzynski Clinic were familiar with BCBSM. The Burzynski Clinic informed Mrs Richert that her policy under BCBSM would cover its services. They also stated that insurance proceeds were slow to be recovered and required Mr and Mrs Richert to advance over $50,000.00 to begin and continue treatment.
The claims for benefits were processed by BCBSM and denied in December 2010. In January 2011, BCBSM issued a second letter stating that they would not pay benefits but that Mrs Richert could appeal that decision. Mrs Richert made two further attempts to get BCBSM to pay the Burzynski Clinic’s charges. BCBSM did not respond to those requests.
The Burzynski Clinic’s wrongful conduct includes the following acts or omissions:
a. Failure to conduct a reasonable investigation of Mrs. Richert’s health insurance
b. Falsely representing that Mrs. Richert’s health insurance policy would cover the
treatment and medical procedures provided by Dr.Burzynski.
c. Providing treatment that was so experimental as to not be covered by insurance.
Mr Richert’s petition goes on to say that the acts and omissions on the part of BCBSM and the Burzynski Clinic forced the Richerts into financial peril in order to provide for Mrs Richert’s medical treatment and that he has suffered and will suffer mental anguish and distress.
Dr. Burzynski and Mr. and Mrs. Richert entered into a valid and enforceable oral contract that was performable within one year. By this contract, Dr. Burzynski and Mr. and Mrs. Richert agreed that the Burzynski Clinic would provide the appreciate paperwork and claim information to BCBSM in order to facilitate claim payment. The Burzynski Clinic breached its contract with Mr. and Mrs. Richert. As a result of the Burzynski Clinic’s breach, Mr. and Mrs. Richert suffered legal damages.
BCBSM, Dr. Burzynski, and Dr. Burzynski’s employees and agents acted fraudulently as to each representation made to Mr. and Mrs. Richert concerning material facts for the reason they would have not acted and which BCBSM and Dr. Burzynski knew were false or made recklessly without knowledge of their truth. The representations were made with the intention that they be acted upon by Mr. and Mrs. Richert, who relied on those representations, thereby causing injury and damages to Mr. and Mrs. Richert.
Mr. Richert is entitled to actual damages resulting from BCBSM and Dr. Burzynski’s violations of the law. These damages include the consequential damages to Mr. and Mrs. Richert’s physical health; economic welfare from the wrongful denial of benefits; the mental anguish and physical suffering resulting from this wrongful denial of benefits; continued impact on Mr. Richert; and other actual damages permitted by law. In addition, Plaintiff is entitled to exemplary damages.
Mr Richert seeks damages, plus interest and attorneys’ fees and demands a trial by jury.
The Original Petition may be viewed on the Harris County District Clerk website.