TRO issued in Galveston Co. employee's pain pump lawsuit

John Suayan, Galveston Bureau Nov. 20, 2012, 11:07am

GALVESTON - A local visiting judge granted a Galveston County employee's request for a temporary restraining order, recent court records show. 

On Nov. 19, Judge Roy Quintanilla approved the TRO which prevents the county and Boon-Chapman Administrators Inc. from denying Melissa Ewing insurance benefits.

The suit states the benefits "are necessary in order for her to have an intrathecal trial pain pump implanted to reduce the present disabling and incapacitating pain being suffered by the plaintiff."

Ewing sued her employer in the Galveston County 405th District Court on Nov. 16 after it rejected her claim to acquire the medical device in question intended to "alleviate the excruciating pain and problems arising from two broken titanium screws" that resulted in the wake of the first of two fusions on her lower back.

Boon-Chapman is a defendant because it allegedly misrepresented the findings of Ewing's treating physician "by using earlier data as to the plaintiff's level of pain and attempting to represent that such data is current and represents the doctors' present opinion as to the status and condition of the plaintiff."

The suit asserts that the severity of the pain apparently experienced by the complainant warrants the treatment, according to a pain specialist who saw Ewing, since it fits the county's definition of "medically necessary" as set forth in its health care plan. Ewing claims she was advised by numerous health care professionals that the pump was her only remaining option, according to the suit.

"As such, the plaintiff has been unable to go forward in having the recommended pain pump procedure performed," the original petition says.

A temporary injunction hearing is set for Nov. 28 at 10 a.m.

Case No. 12-CV-2832

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