LAS VEGAS, Nev., December 16
Federal jury in Las Vegas awards $11.6 million in insurance lawsuit

A federal jury has awarded a Las Vegas man more than 11.5 million dollars in his lawsuit against a national insurance provider for stalling and eventually denying his disability claims.

The verdict was issued Tuesday after a two-week trial before US District Judge James Mahan. The jury awarded 61-year-old Clinton Merrick 1.1 million for past unpaid benefits, $500,000 for emotional and mental distress and punitive damages of two million dollars against Paul Revere Life Insurance.

The jury also awarded Merrick eight million in punitive damages from UNUM Provident Corporation, which is Paul Revere's holding company.

Merrick took out an insurance claim with Paul Revere in 1989 and was diagnosed in 1995 with chronic fatigue syndrome, a condition that prevented him from working.

Merrick argued the insurance company denied his disability claim and stalled payment for eight years.

(Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)