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After being denied disability benefits, Rabbi suffering from bipolar disorder sues CIGNA

An Indiana disability attorney recently filed a federal lawsuit against the Cigna Life Insurance Company of New York (Cigna). The Plaintiff, by virtue of her employment, was covered by a monthly disability benefit plan with Cigna. When Cigna denied wrongly withheld disability benefit payments, the Plaintiff was forced to file a lawsuit.

The Facts of the Case Against Cigna Life Insurance Company Of New York

Plaintiff worked as a Rabbi from July 1, 2007 until she became disabled in May 2010 due to bipolar disorder and attention deficit disorder and went on disability leave.

Plaintiff submitted a claim to Cigna to obtain her monthly disability benefits under her policy, to which she paid 100% of the premiums for over 3 years.

Under the terms of the policy, Plaintiff is entitled to disability payments from Cigna in the amount of $5,250.00 per month after meeting the policy’s 90-day elimination period.

Denial of Cigna Disability Benefits Claim

Cigna originally denied Plaintiff’s claim on July 15, 2010, and upheld that denial on June 30, 2011 after Plaintiff filed an appeal that included additional medical documentation and argument of her disability.

This is despite the fact that Plaintiff continues to be totally disabled and is unable to work, as Plaintiff’s treating doctor has repeatedly communicated to Cigna.

This is also despite the fact that Plaintiff applied for Social Security benefits, for which she was approved, as the Social Security Administration determined that as of May 16, 2010, Plaintiff is totally disabled and not able to engage in “any substantial gainful activity.”

Lawyer Files Lawsuit Against Cigna

According to the lawsuit, the plaintiff alleged that Cigna failed to provide the following to the plaintiff:

  • Monthly disability payments as stipulated by the Policy
  • The provisions of the disability policy as stipulated by the Policy
  • Covenant of good faith and fair dealing
  • A proper investigation before denying her benefits
  • A fair processing of her disability claim
  • A full and fair review of the denial of benefits
  • An expedient review of the termination of her claim
  • Careful consideration of the statements from the Plaintiff, her treating psychiatrist and psychotherapist, and the Social Security Administration that the Plaintiff is unable to work
  • Independently evaluating her condition via an independent doctor as called for by the Policy to thoroughly evaluate her disability claim

Plaintiff claims that Cigna committed the following wrongful acts:

  • Illegal denial of Policy benefits;
  • Erroneously and capriciously denying Plaintiff’s disability benefits
  • Severe emotional distress
  • Substantial financial losses
  • Incidental and consequential damages

Relief Sought By The Plaintiff In The Cigna Lawsuit

Because of Cigna’s actions, Plaintiffs seeks the following relief from the Court:

  • A judgment that entitles Plaintiff to all unpaid disability benefits and accrued interest
  • A judgment that entitles Plaintiff to all attorney’s fees
  • A judgment that entitles Plaintiff to all incidental and consequential damages
  • A judgment that entitles Plaintiff to all additional damages caused by Cigna’s bad faith refusal to pay Plaintiff’s legitimate disability benefits claim


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