On a regular basis our disability lawyers write about disability insurance cases and other related disability claim issues around the country which we believe are education and informative for disability insurance claimants. Please contact us if we can assist you. Check out our Blog, Frequently Asked Questions, Insurance Company or Disabling Conditions pages to learn more.
July 11, 2018 —
The case of Lani Kyle Moar v. Cigna Corporation, et al., demonstrates the lengths insurance companies will go to avoid paying long term disability benefits. This Plaintiff’s perseverance resulted in the Court ordering Cigna to pay past due benefits, but also gave Cigna a new chance to deny benefits in a way that will not be arbitrary and...
June 6, 2018 —
In Daniel T. Derichs v. AT&T Services, Inc., plaintiff, an employee of AT&T who suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), applied for short-term disability benefits. The plan administrator, Sedgwick Claims Management Services, Inc. (Sedgwick), denied Derichs’ claim. After exhausting his administrative appeals, Derichs filed this ERISA...
January 10, 2018 —
The case of Greggory B. Owens v. United of Omaha Life Insurance Company demonstrates what a difference a day makes. All parties agreed that claimant Owens was entitled to long term disability benefits. The sole question in controversy was the date upon which he became disabled.
On July 1, 2013, Owens suffered a debilitating back injury while...
December 27, 2017 —
This case is just another example of a Unum claim rep reviewing restriction and limitations provided by their own in-house doctors, with complete disregard for the opinions of a claimant's treating doctor. An Oklahoma Judge opined that Unum ignored the restrictions and limitations provided by the claimant's treating doctors. The claimant, a...
December 22, 2017 —
Flaaen v. Principal Life Insurance Company, is a win for the claimant who suffered a severe back injury in August 2005 in his job as a truck driver. In January 2006, Principal granted his application for long term disability benefits since he could no longer perform the regular and substantial duties of his own occupation.
On December 14, 2014...
December 21, 2017 —
Kelly Dean Brende v. Reliance Standard Life Insurance Company stems from a September 11, 2012, incident where Brende, a partner in a law firm, woke up one morning to discover her toes were numb. By the following day, the numbness had spread to much of her left side and she felt dizzy.
She was evaluated in an emergency room, and over the next...
December 13, 2017 —
Hartford Disability Company, and other disability insurers, use video surveillance and field interviews as a technique to deny claims. A recent federal court case found that Hartford correctly terminated long term disability benefits for a claimant who was caught on video surveillance engaging in activities which she had claimed she could not...
December 4, 2017 —
This is an interesting long term disability benefit case that was litigated in the Washington Federal Court against Principal Life insurance. As we see with a lot of ERISA disability lawsuits, the insurance company denies a claimant’s long term disability claim when the definition of disability changes from OWN OCCUPATION to ANY OCCUPATION. In...
November 8, 2017 —
Disability benefit lawsuits against Prudential is a daily occurrence for our lawyers.
In this video, disability insurance lawyers Gregory Dell and Rachel Alters discuss their experience in handling ERISA lawsuits against Prudential.
November 6, 2017 —
In Gray v. United of Omaha Life Insurance Co. (United), after working for a southern California television station for 15 years and rising to the position of Vice President of Sales, plaintiff was injured in a car accident. He was completely bedridden for two months and was left with limited use of his limbs and suffered from chronic pain. He...
October 31, 2017 —
In the case of Mokbel-Alijahmi v. United of Omaha Life Ins. Co., the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the lower court's determination that United of Omaha improperly terminated the plaintiff's benefits after an unfair "any occupation" review. The Plaintiff in this case was a welder who spoke no English but was fluent in Arabic. His previous...
October 5, 2017 —
This is another one of those questions where the answer depends on the specific policy language and the type of volunteer activity.
In this video, disability insurance attorneys Rachel Alters and Gregory Dell discuss the issues surrounding volunteering while disabled. Contact any of our lawyers for a free phone consultation.
July 18, 2017 —
In Jarillo v. Reliance Standard Life Ins. Co., Judge Michael M. Anello of the United States District Court of the Southern District of California held that plaintiff Marife Jarillo met her burden of proof and was entitled to benefits under the ERISA. For about eight years, Jarillo worked in the marketing department of the Sycuan Band of The...
June 29, 2017 —
In Jane Doe v. Standard Insurance Company, plaintiff Doe spent more than 25 years as an environmental attorney for a Maine law firm prior to become ill with depression and anxiety. She filed a claim for mental health disability benefits under the law firm’s disability policy. Her claim was approved, but based on a disability date of January...
May 24, 2017 —
In Anderson-Posey v. Unum Life Insurance Company of America, plaintiff Traselynn Anderson-Posey, a CVS pharmacist, tripped, fell and injured her coccyx. The next day, June 21, 2013, she visited her primary care doctor, Dr. Hunter. Plaintiff complained of severe pain and an inability to sit down. Hunter prescribed narcotics and, when an x-ray...
May 11, 2017 —
The case of Arturo J. Otero v. Unum Life Insurance Company of America has an extensive procedural history going back to 2005 when Otero first applied for disability benefits due to his atrial fibrillation. He had a contentious bout with Unum at that time and returned to work on a part-time-basis in 2010. He continued to pay premiums to Unum for...
March 28, 2017 —
In Chamness v. Liberty Life Assurance Company of Boston, plaintiff James Chamness, a board-certified pediatrician who is also a pediatric sleep specialist, applied for long term disability benefits. He claimed he suffered from both physical and mental disorders. Specifically, he was diagnosed with asthma, irritable bowel syndrome, coronary artery...
February 17, 2017 —
In December 2016, the U.S. Department of Labor issued its Final Rule for new regulations applicable to the way in which employers administer their employees’ claims for disability under the Employment Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). The changes went into effect on January 1, 2017, but in order to give employers time to make the required...
November 17, 2016 —
Nationwide disability insurance attorneys Rachel alters and Cesar Gavidia discuss the importance of getting treatment from a specialist for your disability. Disability insurance claimants receiving benefits know the importance of regular doctor’s visits. However, did you know that disability insurance companies will discontinue benefits if you...
September 15, 2016 —
The amount of time that an insurance company is allotted to provide a decision for an ERISA disability appeal is often confusing to claimants and can be for attorneys as well. Insurance companies frequently drag out the ERISA appeals process beyond the allotted 90 days by requesting additional documentation, providing unwanted extensions and...
August 26, 2016 —
Thornton v. Sedgwick is a fact-driven case in which a California district court ruled that Sedgwick “incorrectly determined in January 2014 that [plaintiff] was no longer eligible for disability benefits.” The plaintiff, Catherine Thornton, was a project manager for Southern California Edison (SCE) when she developed bilateral carpel tunnel...
May 18, 2016 —
In Bigham v. Life Assurance Company of Boston, a Seattle federal court held that Liberty erred in terminating the plaintiff's long term disability benefits when it was clear that she could not perform the required tasks of her own occupation as a Security Technical Program Manager for Amazon, LLC. In that role, she was required to "focus her...
April 20, 2016 —
In Halley v. Aetna Life Ins. Co., the plaintiff, an executive vice-president of a manufacturing company, suffered from spinal osteoarthritis and underwent numerous surgeries including a spinal fusion. He was granted three years of disability benefits when he was unable to perform the job requirements of his own occupation.
After 36 months of...
March 22, 2016 —
In Mackey v. Liberty Life Assurance Company of Boston, an Arkansas federal court ruled that Liberty abused its discretion when it denied benefits to Mackey on the grounds that there were three vocational alternatives for her without actually considering her abilities to perform the job duties of the alternate occupations. The court did not accept...
March 9, 2016 —
The court discounted the video surveillance, finding "The video surveillance footage was of marginal, if any, relevance." The court continued, "The surveillance video of Ms. Young does not depict activity inconsistent with her reported limitations. The video does not demonstrate Ms. Young has the ability to work full-time in her regular...
March 3, 2016 —
In Allen v. Unum Life Insurance Company of America, after her long term disability benefits were denied, plaintiff, a pharmacy technician who suffered a serious back injury in a car accident, filed a federal lawsuit under ERISA. She included a claim for defamation based on two letters sent by the Plan administrator. One letter was to her treating...
February 5, 2016 —
Disability insurance companies are notorious for ignoring the cognitive side effects that most disability claimants experience from their medications. Disability companies are aware of the side effects of narcotics; yet they often fail to consider how working under the influence of these prescribed drugs limits a person's ability to work...
January 19, 2016 —
In Valentine v. Aetna Life Insurance Company, the plaintiff applied for disability benefits claiming her disability began in December 2011, when she was diagnosed with trigeminal neuralgia which caused her severe facial pain. She also claimed that her pain medications had side effects that made it impossible for her to concentrate and perform her...
January 14, 2016 —
Be Sure To Maintain a Copy of Your Original Disability Policy
It is extremely important to make sure you maintain a copy of your disability policy once it is initially provided by your insurance company. If your policy is lost, it is possible that your insurance company may be able to provide you with a copy, but they are not obligated to do so...
August 11, 2015 —
In this video, disability insurance attorneys Rachel Alters and Cesar Gavidia discuss what you can expect at an IME exam requested by The Hartford disability insurance company. The information they discuss is applicable to an IME exam requested by most disability insurance companies. You need to take extreme precautions if your have been requested...