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Sun Life Insurance Company is sued for disability benefits in two separate cases for arbitrary and capricious denial of disability claims

With disability insurance lawsuits occurring up and down the eastern US coastline, Sun Life Insurance Company has a lot of litigation to settle. Just in May 2011, Sun Life was hit with two complaints from disability insurance benefits claimants, one in the United States District Court District of New Jersey (Kevin Giblin v. Sun Life and Health Insurance Company et. al) and the other in the United States District Court for the District of South Carolina, Spartanburg Division (Duane Easler v. Sun Life Assurance Co. et al.).

Sun Life Is Sued In New Jersey

In Kevin Giblin v. Sun Life and Health Insurance Company et. al., Giblin and his disability attorney allege that Sun Life violated ERISA when they terminated Giblin’s long-term disability benefits after awarding them to him for two years. An employee at the New York City District Council of Carpenters, Giblin ceased work on August 7, 2007 due to pulmonary dysfunction and cardiovascular disease. Sun Life initially accepted Giblin’s disability claim and paid those benefits until November 1, 2009, at which time, Sun Life terminated Giblin’s benefits proclaiming that Giblin was no longer disabled under the terms of his disability insurance plan.

Giblin immediately appealed Sun Life’s decision and was again turned down for benefit payments, which resulted in Giblin retaining a disability attorney and filing a lawsuit against Sun Life. In the face of compelling evidence of Giblin’s disabled condition, Sun Life has continued to deny Giblin his disability benefits. In his complaint, Giblin alleges that Sun Life’s denial was arbitrary and capricious and asks that the Court grant him disability benefits in the amount equal to the amount of benefits he was entitled to, prejudgment interest that has accrued so far, attorney’s fees and any other relief as appropriate.

Sun Life Is Sued In South Carolina

In Duane Easler v. Sun Life Assurances Co. et. al., Duane Easler was employed by Clarkson Industrial Contactors and was fully vested in his ERISA controlled Sun Life policy when he quit working on August 6, 2010 due to a disabling condition and applied for short-term disability benefits. Having provided Sun Life with all the medical documentation needed to prove his disable status, Clarkson was denied his claim for disability benefits. After being denied benefits and using up all appeal methods available to him, Easler was forced to retain a disability attorney and file a complaint against Sun Life.

In his Complaint, Easler alleges as did Giblin, that Sun Life arbitrarily and capriciously denied his disability claim without fully evaluated his condition. Consequently, Easler asks the Court to award him his rightful short term disability payments, “declare the conduct engaged in by [Sun Life] to be in violation of [Easler's] rights; enjoin [Sun Life] from engaging in such conduct now and in the future;… award [Easler] attorney’s fees and costs in this action; [and] grant such other and further relief as [the] Court man deem just and proper.”

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