Disability attorney Gregory Dell discusses your ability to sue your disability insurance carrier for bad faith or punitive damages.
Well, the answer to this question depends upon whether or not you have a claim governed by ERISA or you have an individual disability policy. Let’s start with the easy one and probably the most unfair one. If you have a policy governed by ERISA, the answer is that you absolutely cannot sue your disability insurance carrier for either bad faith or punitive damages. I didn’t make the law, I don’t agree with it. I think the ERISA laws are very unfair, and there’s no indication that those laws are going to change any time soon.
With regard to individual disability policies, in some states, you can sue your disability carrier for bad faith and punitive damages, and obviously in others, you can’t. The facts of the case in order to qualify for a bad faith claim have to be very specific. There are only a few states that allow you to sue for bad faith or punitive damages, so if you have any facts in your case that you believe would warrant a claim for bad faith or punitive damages, we encourage you to contact us at your convenience.