Death Results in Insurance Claim

The estate of a man who had a gastric bypass surgery has filed a lawsuit against QualChoice of Arkansas Inc. and QCA Health Plan Inc. for wrongful death.

The lawsuit filed in Pulaski County Circuit Court by the estate of Eddie Stewart of Little Rock didn't say exactly when Stewart had gastric bypass surgery to treat his morbid obesity, just that it was "many years ago."

Later, he started experiencing complications from the surgery and submitted claims to QualChoice.

QualChoice paid the claims for years but then stopped on Sept. 15, saying it no longer covered services related to complications of his surgery.

"Without insurance, Mr. Stewart was unable to access appropriate medical care and died," the estate's attorney, L. Oneal Sutter of Little Rock, said in the lawsuit.

Stewart's estate said QualChoice had a duty to pay Stewart's medical bills.

The estate is seeking an unspecified amount of damages.

QualChoice's compliance officer, Rick Halinski, said the insurance company was investigating the case and couldn't respond to the allegations.