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Federal judge reverses MetLife’s denial of disability benefits

Carolyn Kinser, an employee of Associates First Capital Corporation filed a lawsuit against MetLife for wrongful denial of disability benefits. Ms. Kinser was disabled from her occupation due to bipolar disorder and major depressive order. Ms. Kinser had been under continued care and treatment with the same psychiatrist for more than ten years.

MetLife hired an allegedly independent doctor to review Ms. Kinser’s medical records. After review of Ms. Kinser’s records, the independent doctor advised Met Life that Ms. Kinser’s medical condition was not supported by objective evidence and there was “no documented functional impairment that would preclude plaintiff’s ability to return to work”.

The Federal Judge held that “MetLife was wrong to essentially ignore Dr. Patel’s (Ms. Kinser’s psychiatrist) clearly stated and supported opinion that plaintiff was unable to work in any type of position.” The judge also stated “psychiatric conditions are not easily identifiable by objective measures.” The court also noted that MetLife’s doctor neither examined Ms. Kinser nor spoke with her treating psychiatrist.

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