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A Las Vegas jury dealt a unanimous verdict against the nation’s largest health insurance company on November 29, ruling UnitedHealthcare cheated out-of-network emergency room doctors out of millions of dollars in proper reimbursements for the lifesaving work they performed.

The month-long trial featured revelations that United had gutted reimbursements to doctors handling heart attacks, strokes, and gunshot wounds to less than $200, all so the company could generate another billion dollars in profits.

“To look at the scheme they had to underpay and underpay us to protect our community was a shot in the gut,” said Sunrise Medical Center Doctor Scott Scherr, an emergency room doctor who helped saved many lives the night of the deadly Las Vegas mass killings in 2017.

“This sends a message to insurance companies that you know we need to be compensated fairly for the emergency care that we provide.”

Jury Deliberations in Las Vegas Trial against UnitedHealthcare

Houston Attorney John Zavitsanos said United had treated life savers as third-rate citizens for the past three years to feed the greed of an insurance company and he praised the jury for sending a clear message.

“They found by clear and convincing evidence that their conduct, and I am going to steal one of their words, that their conduct was egregious, and the jury will return to make an example out of them to other insurance companies of how health care professionals should not be treated,” said Zavitsanos.

The jury ruled United and other defendants had to pay a little more than $2 million in damages to doctors for the payments they were cheated out of, but United may see a much bigger punishment when the jury returns December 7th to decide on the amount of punitive damages the insurance giant now owes these doctors.

The court victory in Las Vegas sets the stage for similar lawsuits in 10 states over the conduct of United Healthcare. 


Updated November 29, 2021

A jury in Las Vegas Monday morning has sent a clear message to the nation’s largest insurance company.

United Healthcare “unjustly enriched” itself while the insurance giant unfairly gutted reimbursements to out of network emergency room doctors across Nevada. The jury awarded more than $2 million in damages, and will return December 7, 2021 to decide how much in punitive damages will be awarded. Testimony during the Las Vegas trial proved United used the reimbursement cuts to generate another billion dollars in profits for the largest insurance company in the country.

Jury deliberations begin at 8:30 am in Las Vegas in the important first legal battle between out of network emergency room physicians and the nation’s largest insurance company.

Medical staffing companies claim United cheated those doctors and nurses out of more than $10 million in reasonable payments for life saving emergency room care. While United slashed reimbursement rates, the company used the money to generate another billion dollars in profits instead of truly cutting the cost of healthcare for patients. 

In closing arguments, Houston attorney John Zavitsanos accused United of “oppression, fraud and conscious disregard, despicable conduct, nothing short of illegal.”

This is the first of legal battles in ten states that will reshape the reasonable payments for emergency room doctors. In Nevada those out of network ER doctors were often paid less than $200 for emergency work on patients suffering from strokes, heart attacks and gunshot wounds.

We will update as soon as we get a verdict.

The court livestream can be accessed here: https://bluejeans.com/541907772/9730