CIGNA has three new lawsuits to deal with for unpaid disability benefits

Three recent ERISA complaints were filed against CIGNA in Kentucky, New York and Texas for denying short-term and long-term disability benefits. In each of the cases, with the assistance of a disability attorney, the claimants are suing for claims that were allegedly wrongfully denied. Lets take a look at each case:

Case 1: Fifth Third Bank Employee

In Michelle C. v. Life Insurance Company of North America and CIGNA Corporation, Michelle and her Kentucky disability lawyer filed suit against the insurer in the United States District Court Eastern District of Kentucky Covington Division on August 23, 2011. Suing CIGNA for improperly denying her disability benefits, Michelle and her disability attorney have petitioned the District Court for:

  • An Order directing CIGNA to turn over to Michelle and her attorney a “true and accurate copy of the entire contents of any and all files and documents” which the insurers used in making a decision concerning her disability benefits claim;
  • Declaratory Judgment stating that Michelle is entitled to short term disability benefits as well as an award of the monetary value of those benefits, including prejudgment and post-judgment interest;
  • An “injunction directing Defendants to pay [Michelle ] all future disability benefits as they become due”;
  • An Order of restitution;
  • Reasonable attorneys’ fees and court costs; and
  • “Any and all legal or equitable relief as the Court deems appropriate” according to statute.

At the time of her declaration of disability, Michelle was employed by Fifth Third Bank Corp. as a Relationship Manager Officer. In 2008, Michelle was diagnosed with endometriosis, which caused Michelle to experience severe pelvic pain. After cauterization of the endometriosis, Michelle continued to suffer pain and underwent a partial hysterectomy in March 2009 to address the continuing issue. After the hysterectomy surgery, Michelle returned to her job and began having pelvic pain again, and that pain was increasing in severity and frequency. After 6 months of physical therapy in addition to acupuncture, massage therapy, cranio-sacral therapy and Reiki, during a routine ultrasound it was discovered that Michelle had a large cyst in her ovaries. Unable to solve the chronic pelvic pain and unable to work, Michelle applied for her CIGNA disability benefits.

CIGNA Denies Claimant Disability Benefits

In January 2010, CIGNA notified Michelle that her disability benefits claim was being denied, claiming that her treating physician merely recommended that she stop work to attend to a pain management plan and did not state that she was disabled from working at all. On April 19, 2010, Michelle ‘s physician did provide the insurer with an extensive history of Michelle’s condition, stating that unless Michelle found relief from her chronic pain, she would be unable to work. After exhausting all administrative appeals, Michelle engaged the services of a Kentucky disability attorney to file suit against the insurer to gain her entitled disability benefits.

Case 2: Goldman Sachs Employee

In Manuel A. v. CIGNA Life Insurance Company of New York, Manuel and his New York disability attorney filed a lawsuit against the insurer on September 6, 2011 in the United States District Court of the Southern District of New York. According to Manuel’s disability lawyer, Manuel is entitled to:

  • A declaratory judgment that says the insurer violated Manuel’s rights pursuant to ERISA (the Employee Retirement Insurance Security Act of 1974);
  • Payment of long term disability benefits from CIGNA from December 2, 2010 moving forward;
  • An award of reasonable attorney’s fees and costs of the filing of this suit;
  • Interest on unreceived disability benefits payments past due; and
  • Other relief as the “Court deems just and proper.”

Claimant has been Disabled since 2004

An employee of Goldman Sachs, Manuel last worked at the company in December 2004. At that time Manuel suffered from osteoarthritis of his left which led to a total left knee replacement , cardiac conditions, and psychological and anxiety conditions. Finding Manuel to be totally disabled from these conditions, Manuel’s physician advised him to cease working. In June of 2005, Manuel was awarded disability benefits through the Social Security Administration which based its decision to award those benefits to Manuel on the merit of the same evidence Manuel presented to CIGNA. Having failed to examine Manuel, the insurer has to date denied Abad’s appeals, precipitating Manuel and his disability attorney to file the subject complaint.

Case 3: Employee of Sikorsky

In Douglas T. v. Life Insurance Company of North America (with CIGNA as the plan administrator), Douglas and his disability lawyer filed a lawsuit against the insurer in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas Corpus Christi Division on September 16, 2011. In the lawsuit, Douglas’s disability attorney prays that the Court provide Douglas the following relief.

  • Long term disability benefits;
  • Attorney’s fees;
  • Cost of Court;
  • Punitive and exemplary damages;
  • Pre- and post-judgment interest; and
  • Other relief the court sees fit to provide.

Suffering from multiple back issues, 60-year-old Douglas was a Quality Control Inspector for Sikorsky and his job required activities that Doug can no longer accomplish, such as lifting, pulling, pushing, bending, reaching and other movements that aggravate his back condition and cause severe debilitating pain. With his employer stating that the company could not accommodate Douglas’ disability, he was forced to cease working and apply for disability benefits. And, after appealing to CIGNA to reconsider his claim, which they did and denied, Douglas was left with no other remedy except to hire a disability attorney and go after his disability benefits through litigation.

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Cigna has not paid me a dime in months

Reviewed by Anne on August 6th 2017   Verified Policyholder
I work for a large company – and they have Cigna for both their long term and short term disability benefits. I have been off on STD since 6/7/17 – and Cigna has not p... read more >

Cigna expects me to do a range of motion tests when every time I try to move I want to cry

Reviewed by Bonnie on July 16th 2017   Verified Policyholder
I have fibromyalgia, hashimotos and degenerative disk disease. Cigna just denied my STD claimed because my Dr. did not summit and range of motion report. How is a range of... read more >
Sent on July 16th 2017 by Attorney Stephen Jessup

Bonnie, if you have a copy of the STD denial letter please feel free to contact our office to discuss how we may be able to assist you in appealing same.


Even my employer doesn’t understand why Cigna denied my claim. I don't know what to do

Reviewed by Cheri on April 30th 2017   Verified Policyholder
I have been off on leave since October. My last disability payment was 12-26-17 and it’s now 5-1-17. In February I called Cigna to see why I wasn’t getting my disabili... read more >
Sent on April 30th 2017 by Attorney Stephen Jessup

Cheri, Cigna is correct in their assertion that the review of the claim could take up to 90 days from the date of the appeal. If your employer was advised the appeal wa... read more >


Cigna is not there in time of need Had to go back to work with no surgery and a ruined credit score

Reviewed by Janine K. on April 22nd 2017   Verified Policyholder
This is the second time I had to deal with Cigna. I have elected coverage for STD that is payroll deducted. My company pays for the LTD. I filed STD claim that was to star... read more >
Sent on April 22nd 2017 by Attorney Gregory Dell

Janine, please feel free to contact our office to discuss your claim as it stands today to determine how we may be able to assist you now to prevent a potential denial.... read more >


Cigna says I am well and able to work. I wish my brain and body got their memo.

Reviewed by Lani. A on March 14th 2017   Verified Policyholder
I have been denied long term disability from Cigna. I had a stroke in nov 2013… I have had more tests, procedures, and one profession of Dr. saying that its a central ne... read more >
Sent on March 14th 2017 by Attorney Stephen Jessup

Lani, have you appealed the denial of benefits? Please contact our office to discuss your appeal and the rights available. Despite Cigna terminating your claim that is ... read more >


Cigna thinks it's ok to mess with my life

Reviewed by Candy on February 23rd 2017   Verified Policyholder
Why do these people think that it is OK to mess with my life? It took them a month before I received my first check. In which it was less than half of one of my regular ch... read more >
Sent on February 23rd 2017 by Attorney Stephen Jessup

Candy, please feel free to contact our office as it relates to the disability claim. With respect to the insurance being $1800 I am assuming this has something to do wi... read more >


My experiecne with Cigna has been a complete headache

Reviewed by Sandra on February 15th 2017   Verified Policyholder
I was out on short term disability due to surgeries on both feet. I received a letter from Cigna indicating that I had 14 days beginning January 6 to submit the revised me... read more >
Sent on February 15th 2017 by Attorney Stephen Jessup

Sandra, unfortunately, the overwhelming majority of claims are denied following a review of the file by a doctor or nurse without ever examining the insured. When you r... read more >


What a pathetic company

Reviewed by Pravina on December 7th 2016   Verified Policyholder
Submitted claim in advancement of my problems hoping that Cigna would understand my problems and process my claim accordingly.It has been 9 weeks after I stopped work but ... read more >
Sent on December 7th 2016 by Attorney Stephen Jessup

Pravina, when was the last time you heard anything from Cigna? Please feel free to contact our office to discuss your claim.

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When you call us during normal business hours you will immediately speak with a disability attorney. We can be reached at 800-698-9159 or by email. Lawyers and staff must return all client calls same day. Client emails are usually replied to within the same business day and seem to be the preferred and most efficient method of communication for most clients.