Janet Hubert Reveals Painful Illness That Has Kept Her Out Of Work

January 28, 2014  |  

Just weeks after the shocking death of “Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” star James Avery, his former co-star Janet Hubert is revealing some health-related news of her own. According Janet, she’s been suffering from a rather painful illness, which has been causing “intense spasms” and “strange chattering” since 2004. It is also an illness that Janet says has has been prohibiting her from working.

“There is a lot going on, health-wise,” Janet told Radar Online. “I have had a lot of issues over the years.”

Unfortunately, Janet says she’s been having troubled getting her healthcare provider to cover the expenses associated with her medical treatment. As a result, she’s suing the American Federation of Television and Radio Acts and the AFTRA Health Fund to get them to cover her treatment.

“I’d like my benefits back,” Janet continued. “That’s all. They’ve sort of denied me some very very important medical things that I need to feel good.”

The actress’s health troubles began in 2004, when she was treated for “military neck,” a rare condition that involves the loss of spinal curvature. Those medical expenses were covered by H&R, an AFTRA employee benefits plan. Unfortunately, her health woes only worsened. The next year Janet developed vertigo, which she says was so intense that she was unable to complete everyday tasks such as driving. She was also instructed to sleep sitting up for six weeks—something she now says did nothing to improve her condition. As time progressed, her condition continued to get worse and she “began developing a strange ‘chatter’ in her jaw; was unable to comb her hair; could not touch her face; had severe reactions to sound; would awaken with her mouth clenched; could not move her body in a manner she was used to; and found light painful.”

Thankfully, after seeing several specialists and trying out many different forms of treatment, Janet finally found relief. “Trigger point injections” into key areas of her muscles “helped reduce the pain and other symptoms tremendously.” Though she initially paid for these treatments out of pocket, she says that AFTRA’s H7R plan eventually began to cover the treatments.  By 2011, Janet says she received a letter from H&R stating that they never meant to pay for any of the sessions and that her treatment had been “excessive in terms of frequency and duration.” According to H&R, only 4 treatments per year were “medically necessary” and since 2010, Janet had received 42.

H&R eventually agreed to allow Janet 16 trigger point treatments per year, but anything after that would have to be covered out of pocket. The former “Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” actress has appealed this decision on several occasions to no avail, which is why she’s now suing.

“She has been unable to accept numerous jobs,” the lawsuit reads. “She has been forced to go on disability.”

According to the lawsuit, which was filed in L.A., she is requesting to be compensated for her unpaid benefits, attorneys fees and an order for H&R to pay for the benefits in the future.

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