Beloved Son, Husband, Father George Nijboer
July 9, 1947 - March 12, 1999 Beloved Son, Husband, Father
******************************************************* This lawsuit was brought on behalf of six chronically ill Lyme Disease patients, five of whom are patients of either Dr. Kenneth Liegner or Dr. Joseph Burrascano. All six of these patients have been denied pre- authorization for prescribed antibiotic treatment for their illnesses by Empire Blue Cross/Blue Shield. All of the plaintiffs purchased their medical plans privately and their claims are not covered or restricted by the federal ERISA law (which imposes restrictions on the types of damage which can be recovered). LOGAN v. EMPIRE BLUE CROSS AND BLUE SHIELD New York Law Journal May 13, 1999 SUPREME COURT Justice DiBlasi LOGAN v. EMPIRE BLUE CROSS AND BLUE SHIELD QDS:92701086 -- It is ordered that this motion is granted solely to the extent set forth below. Plaintiffs Vicki Logan (Logan), Virginia A. Philo (Philo), Deborah A. Scheid (Scheid), George Nijboer (Nijboer), James Marino (Marino) and Danny Licul (Licul) are six individuals who were insured by defendant pursuant to policies providing coverage for certain types of medical care. Each of them claims to suffer from chronic Lyme disease, as a result of which each has received oral and/or intravenous (IV) antibiotic therapy. At some point after each plaintiff had received 30 days, or as to one of the plaintiffs, three months, of such treatment, defendant denied their requests to continue paying for similar treatments. Upon their claims that defendant and its officers and employees have engaged in a conspiracy to deny such continued coverage solely based upon financial considerations, plaintiffs have commenced this lawsuit in which they seek a declaratory judgment, and compensatory and punitive damages of $50,000,000 in favor of each of them. Now that discovery has been completed and the action is scheduled for trial on May 14, 1999, defendant moves for partial summary judgment dismissing the complaint in its entirety as to three of the plaintiffs and dismissing several of the claims put forth by each of the plaintiffs. Plaintiffs' Claims In their amended complaint, five causes of action are asserted on behalf of each of the plaintiffs, in the same order for all of the plaintiffs. Thus, the first, sixth, eleventh, sixteenth, twenty-first and twenty-sixth causes of action seek a judgment declaring that plaintiffs Logan, Philo, Scheid, Nijboer, Marino and Licul, respectively, are entitled "to have treatment prescribed by [their] treating physicians approved by [defendant] pursuant to the terms of [their] plan[s]" (Amend. Comp., par. 18). The second, seventh, twelfth, seventeenth, twenty-second and twenty-seventh causes of action assert breaches of each plaintiff's medical insurance contract. Similarly, in the third, eighth, thirteenth, eighteenth, twenty-third and twenty- eighth causes of action, each plaintiff alleges that defendant engaged in bad faith in denying their respective claims for continued treatment. Next, in the fourth, ninth, fourteenth, nineteenth, twenty- fourth and twenty-ninth causes of action plaintiffs allege that defendant has intentionally inflicted physical and emotional trauma upon them. Finally, in the fifth, tenth, fifteenth, twentieth, twenty- fifth1 and thirtieth causes of action plaintiffs assert that their claims were fraudulently denied by defendant. Defendant's Motion On this motion, defendant seeks partial summary judgment against all of the plaintiffs. As to Logan, Scheid and Licul, defendant argues that all of their claims must be dismissed as being preempted by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (29 U.S.C. §1001 et seq. [ERISA]). Defendant also contends that dismissal is required of all of the causes of action for fraud, bad faith and intentional infliction of physical and emotional trauma. As its last form of relief, defendant requests and order striking the demand for punitive damages as to all of the causes of action on the ground that no basis exists for any thing other than contract damages in this action. Before turning to a resolution of the issues raised, the Court addresses the problem relating to Nijboer's status in this action. Plaintiff Nijboer's Death In their papers in opposition to the motion, plaintiffs inform the Court that plaintiff George Nijboer (Nijboer) is now deceased. Nijboer's death stays the action as to him (Bova v. Vinciguerra, 139 A.D. 2d 797, 799 [3d Dept. 1988]). Accordingly, the Court shall not address the motion as relates to Nijboer's causes of action.2 Upon the substitution of a representative of his estate, the Court shall render a separate decision and order setting forth its determination of defendant's motion as to Nijboer's five causes of action. *******************************************************
George F. Nijboer
Obituary, Hicksville News, New York George F. Nijboer, of Hicksville, died on March 12, 1999. Husband of Judi. Father of Jenique and Gerrit. Son of Jent Nijboer. Brother of five sisters and four brothers. Arrangements were made by the Thomas F. Dalton Funeral Home, Hicksville Chapel. Mass of Christian Burial at Our Lady of Mercy RC Church. Interment St. Charles Cemetery.