HOUSTON, Jan. 9 /PRNewswire/ -- Texas Mutual Insurance Company, an aggressive tort reform advocate in Texas, committed fraud by falsifying a medical record in pending litigation in which the insurance company tried to overturn an order from the State of Texas to pay for a workplace injury, a Dallas state district judge ruled today.
Judge Martin Hoffman found that without the falsified medical record, Texas Mutual had no evidence to continue to prosecute its lawsuit against injured Dallas-area construction worker Juan Narvaez, and the lawsuit was dismissed.
Texas Mutual also was ordered to pay $30,000 to Mr. Narvaez for litigation sanctions and to post the Court's order on the Texas Mutual Web site. This is believed to be the first time in Texas that a litigant found to have committed fraud has been required to post notice of a court order on its Web site.
The judge ruled that Texas Mutual's fraudulent manipulation of the medical record was committed "knowingly and intentionally" to "gain an advantage in this suit."
Texas Mutual sued Mr. Narvaez in 2004 after he had prevailed at every level of state-regulated claim proceedings related to a job injury he sustained in 2003 that required surgery. Alleging it was not liable for any insurance benefits for the workplace injury, Texas Mutual sued to overturn the benefits awarded to Mr. Narvaez, and attempted to recoup past payments and block Mr. Narvaez from obtaining future benefits related to the injury. The trial of the case ended in mistrial in October 2007 after Texas Mutual's alteration of the record was revealed.
Mr. Narvaez is represented by Mike Doyle, Jeff Raizner, and Quentin Haag, of Doyle Raizner LLP in Houston, and Peter N. Rogers, of Rogers, Booker & Lewis in Richardson, Texas.
According to Mike Doyle, of Doyle Raizner LLP, "The evidence is clear that Texas Mutual not only falsified the original medical record, but, after being caught, secretly solicited from a doctor yet another altered document which an official of Dallas County Hospital District later confirmed under oath was not a genuine record of the Hospital District."
Jeff Raizner, of Doyle Raizner LLP, stated, "This case reflects Texas Mutual's disregard for the rule of law as well as their promises to Texas workers, employers, and health care providers that covered medical bills and income for injured workers will be paid in a timely, fair manner."
A state-chartered company that operates as a domestic mutual insurance company with political oversight by appointees of Gov. Rick Perry, Texas Mutual has lobbied repeatedly for insurer immunity from "bad faith" claims associated with the wrongful denial of medical care and worker's compensation benefits to injured workers, and refusals to pay doctors and hospitals, even when misconduct was committed knowingly or intentionally by an insurer or its agents.
The case is "Texas Mutual Insurance Company v. Juan Narvaez," (Cause No. 04-06061-C) in the 68th District Court of Dallas County, Texas.
Media Contact: Erin Powers, Powers MediaWorks LLC, for Doyle Raizner LLP, (281) 362-1411 or (281) 703-6000.
|SOURCE Doyle Raizner LLP|
Copyright©2008 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved