HARTFORD, Conn., July 3, 1996 — Ruling that “no reasonable jury could find that there was clear and convincing evidence that Aetna’s (NYSE: AET) conduct was outrageous,” an Alaska federal judge has dismissed a $16.5 million punitive damages judgement against Aetna Life Insurance Company.
Following a trial in Juneau last month, a jury awarded Sherrie Ace $27,000 in actual damages and $100,000 for emotional distress in addition to the punitive damages in a claim dispute involving long-term disability benefits for a knee injury. On July 2, U.S. District judge John Sedwick vindicated Aetna’s position by finding that the evidence did not support an award of punitive damages, and granting Aetna’s motion to overturn that portion of the jury verdict.
“We are very pleased that Judge Sedwick has recognized that the evidence simply didn’t support the jury’s award of punitive damages,” said Michael Welsh, Aetna vice president in charge of financial operations for the disability business.
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