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U.S. Magistrate Judge Joseph Spero, Northern District of California U.S. Magistrate Judge Joseph Spero, Northern District of California (Photo: Jason Doiy/ALM)

A federal judge in San Francisco has found that an affiliate of UnitedHealthcare, the nation’s largest health insurer, breached its fiduciary duty to policyholders by following guidelines that emphasized cost-savings and addressing acute problems rather than treating underlying mental health and substance abuse issues.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Joseph Spero of the Northern District of California issued a 106-page ruling Tuesday finding that the guidelines that United Behavioral Health used when making coverage decisions in cases of mental illness and substance abuse didn’t provide for generally accepted standards of care outlined in the plaintiffs’ policies.

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Ross Todd

Ross Todd is the Editor/columnist for the Am Law Litigation Daily. He writes about litigation of all sorts. Previously, Ross was the Bureau Chief of The Recorder, ALM's California affiliate. Contact Ross at [email protected] On Twitter: @Ross_Todd.

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