January 11, 2011

Moore v. Health Care Authority, 181 Wn.2d 299; 332 P.3d 451 (WA 2014). In this class action case, the State had argued that lost health insurance of workers entitled to recovery should be based on out-of-pocket costs. The Washington Supreme Court said:

The primary flaw in this underlying assumption is that it refuses to acknowledge that those who are wrongfully denied health benefits suffer damage even if they do not incur direct out-of-pocket medical expenses during that particular time period. In its ruling, the trial court pointed to studies showing that people who do not have health insurance do not obtain routine preventive care, which results in deferred medical problems. More significantly, studies show that those without health benefits even put off necessary care for urgent medical issues. Based on these studies, the trial court concluded that the State's method of calculating damages would result in a “great understatement” of the actual damages.