Victoria Travelers Story
Paul Fletcher had heart issues but his doctor gave him the approval to embark on a trip to Mexico in March 2011. However, he experienced chest pain three days into his trip that failed to subside after he used nitroglycerine tablets. As a result, Paul made an arrangement to return to B.C early.
His symptom worsened during his return and thankfully, the airport landed at a scheduled stop in Seattle. Fletcher was taken to a Seattle hospital by ambulance and was diagnosed with severe coronary artery disease by the cardiologist. Paul was then transferred to the intensive care unit at the Swedish Medical Center in Seattle and there he received emergency bypass surgery.
Fletcher’s group plan provided by Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance Company of Canada had a travel insurance section; he sought his bill of US$181,140 to be paid via the travel insurance section of the plan, however, he had to file a lawsuit when the insurance company’s agent denied his medical claim.
The insurance company argued during the trial that Fletcher’s claim should be denied because he already had the medical condition before departure as provided in the company’s insurance policy. However, B.C. Supreme Court Justice, Jacqueline Dorgan ruled the case in favor of Fletcher because he had adequately consulted his doctors about his health before the trip.
As noted by the judge, one of the doctors determined that the angiogram procedure could be postponed until he returns from his trip. As a result, the judge concluded that Paul’s condition was stable before he embarked on the trip. Hence, the judge entitled Fletcher to be indemnified for the medical expenses he incurred in Seattle while returning from his trip.
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