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California Consultant sues Northwestern Life Insurance Company for unpaid disability benefits

Northwestern Insurance beneficiary Todd W. and his California disability attorney’s complaint against the insurer accuses Northwestern of breach of the Duty of Good Faith and Fair Dealing and Breach of Contract in response to its denial of Todd W.’s disability benefits.

Citing an advertisement of Northwestern Insurance Mutual Life Insurance Company as the reason why Todd W. first purchased a Northwestern benefits policy, Todd W.’s disability attorney accuses the insurer of “hooking” potential disability benefit customers by promising peace of mind, only to breach that trust by failing to deliver disability benefits when beneficiary’s most need them. Having received only a small portion of the disability benefits that he was entitled to from his disabled condition, Todd W. and his attorney state in their complaint that the insurer:

Complainant’s disabling condition

A large event consultant, Todd W. applied for disability benefits on his Northwestern policy on November 21, 2007. After awarding Todd W. disability benefits and paying those benefits through August 2008, Northwestern terminated Todd W.’s disability award, claiming Todd W. was no longer disabled. However at the time of this termination Todd W. continued to suffer from complications of facial paralysis, a viral infection that “has left him virtually deaf in one ear, and tinnitus.” Having fully cooperated with the insurer and providing medical records to support his disabling condition Todd W. exhausted all his administrative appeals and has been forced to hire a disability attorney and file suit against Northwestern to get his rightfully deserved disability benefits.

Northwestern Mutual terminates claimant’s disability benefits

Having unreasonably terminated Todd W.’s disability benefits, Northwestern is accused of breaching its duty of good faith and fair dealing with Todd W. and causing him unnecessary suffering as a result of the financial stress the insurer has caused Todd W. In the subject complaint, Todd W.’s attorney states that Northwestern’s treatment of Todd W. as “despicable conduct carried on by [Northwestern] with a willful and conscious disregard of the rights of [Todd W.].” In addition, the attorney for Todd W. claims that as a result of the insurer’s breach of its contract with Todd W., Todd W. has been damaged and he and his client request that the Court force Northwestern to repair the damage it has caused to Todd W. by:

Comments (4)

  • William,

    I am sorry to hear of your struggles. First and foremost, suicide is never the answer, especially if your hopes are that your children could collect the proceeds of a life insurance policy, as I have yet to see a life insurance policy that pays benefits as a result of suicide. Second, your children need you more. Please contact our office to discuss your claim and see what your options are and how we may be able to assist you. Although the struggle may seem impossible, there is always a way.

    Stephen Jessup Jun 27, 2013  #4

  • I have been in limbo with NWM for months now. When I bought life insurance my agent explained that disability was more likely than death. Who would take care of my family then? I have paid premiums for 28 years on both the life and the disability policies. I have a rider that would pay for my life insurance benefits. Well, not so during the disability review period. I borrowed against my life insurance policy to pay premiums in advance for months realizing that I might not be well enough to handle my affairs. Well, I never wanted to collect on my disability policy – I don’t want to be sick and unable to work. But I am. I realize now that if they don’t pay by August, my children would be better off if I killed myself so they could collect on my insurance policy. My estate would have a huge claim for unpaid past benefits.

    I have now been evicted from my office, my mortgage has been accelerated and I cannot pay my bills. I am in misery due to my illness.

    William Jun 26, 2013  #3

  • Did you say Peace of mind? Yep, that is what NML promised me on the front end and that is why I had paid premiums for all those years. Now that I am very sick and disabled it is trying to drive me completely out of my mind. What is most troubling is that it has not sent anyone to personally assist me in trying to fill out all of the burdensome forms and paperwork it flooded me with. After I finally meet some of NML’s onerous requirements, then it slaps me with another one and then another one. Talk about being beaten down. That is NML’s strategy. Wear the policyholder down until he or she just wants to completely give up. It would not surprise me to learn that NML has sent cyanide capsules to various policyholder claimants just to get rid of them.

    NML just flat out disregards what a policyholder’s attending physician reports about his patient/policyholder’s disabling conditions in black and white. When it doesn’t suit NML’s interest, then NML insists that the policyholder come up with a different physician’s disability evaluation. It is just one long and tortuous game that NML plays.

    R. Irish Oct 14, 2012  #2

  • That’s just business. Everyone selling something hopes to get as much as they can for it, but are usually prepared to haggle if pushed in order to keep the business, particularly from we more reliable customers.

    Exequiel Feb 21, 2012  #1

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