AETNA: Huber Apologizes for ‘Acerbic’ Remarks
Aetna Inc. CEO Richard Huber "sent a personal note of apology" this week to Teresa Goodrich saying he did not intend for the "acerbic" comments he made regarding a recent jury verdict against the HMO "to minimize in any way the devastation you feel at the loss of a loved one." The Hartford Courant reports that Huber said after the verdict, "You had a skillful ambulance-chasing lawyer, a politically motivated judge and a weeping widow." In his note to Goodrich, Huber wrote, "I would not want my comments to imply" that Aetna does not "care deeply" about its customers and want to "again respectfully apologize for any offense my words may have caused." Goodrich said she appreciates Huber's note but that "he did not apologize for what Aetna did to my husband, and that is really what I would like to have an apology for." Goodrich's attorney, Michael Bidart, said Aetna "wouldn't be taking the position they're taking -- that they're not liable for anything" if it was "truly sincere." Aetna spokesperon Joyce Oberdorf said Huber's apology was "truly heartfelt," noting that Aetna "did not release it or seek publicity about it." The Courant reports that Aetna is appealing the ruling (Levick, 2/19).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.