Accidental Death Claim: Exclusion for Death Due to Treatment of a Disease

The 59-year-old mother of our client died of an accidental overdose of her pain medication, Oxycodone. The mother was insured with an accidental death policy; however, our client’s claim for benefits following her mother’s death was denied.

The insurance company denied the claim under the exclusion for losses caused by illness or the treatment thereof. It asserted that Oxycodone was a treatment for chronic pain and thus excluded by the policy provisions.

Stennett & Casino argued that California Insurance Code §10369.12 precluded an insurance company from excluding a loss caused by prescription drugs. The court agreed with our interpretation of the Code and held that the exclusion was void as it applied to our case. Our client thus received the full value of the insurance policy plus attorney’s fees.

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