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U.S. Supreme Court refuses to hear appeal from American Family Insurance

A federal court will decide how much to fine American Family Insurance, for not initially saying why a medical claim was denied for one of its former employees.

This week, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to consider an appeal, after the Madison-based insurer was found liable.

Sharon Mondry sued American Family in 2003, after the insurance plan for its employees refused to pay for speech therapy for her son who has autism.

The claim was later paid.

Still, a federal court in Madison and an appellate court in Chicago both said the company was liable for not giving an explanation for more than two years.

The company eventually gave some documents to Mondry, and it asked the plan's administrator, CIGNA, to provide other records considered proprietary.

Even though CIGNA administered the plan, the appellate court said American Family was liable.

The Supreme Court's refusal to act sends the case back to the Madison federal court to determine fines.

Mondry's lawyer, Bobby Peterson, calls it a victory for consumers.

He says it's impossible to appeal an insurance denial if the company won't provide a reason for it.

American Family says CIGNA is no longer the company's administrator.