'They Took My Daughter Away From Me'

Family plans to sue insurer after teen dies awaiting liver transplant
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Dec 21, 2007 7:15 PM CST
Krikor Sarkisyan, right, father of Natalee Sarkisyan, speaks as his son Bedros listens, during a news conference in Los Angeles, Friday, Dec. 21, 2007. The family of the 17-year-old girl, who died hours...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – The family of a 17-year-old whose insurer had refused to OK a liver transplant plans to sue the company in the wake of the girl's death, the Los Angeles Times reports. Leukemia patient Nataline Sarkisyan died after Cigna HealthCare refused to fund the transplant despite doctors’ recommendations. After online and public protests, the company relented, but the decision came too late.

The family's lawyer told ABC News he may push for murder or manslaughter charges; the LA County DA's office declined comment. Sarkisyan developed an infection after a bone marrow transplant and was in intensive care for 3 weeks before dying yesterday. "She had a 65% chance of survival if she had gotten the liver," her mother said. But Cigna had deemed the procedure “too experimental.”