Disabled employee of University Of California Davis diagnosed with fibromyalgia sues Liberty Mutual for denial of disability benefits and seeks punitive damages

Recently a disability attorney filed a lawsuit against the Liberty Life Assurance Company of Boston (Liberty Life) at the Superior Court of the state of California. In the case of Cassie Ray v Liberty Life Assurance Company of Boston, the plaintiff alleged that by denying the plaintiff’s claim for disability benefits, Liberty Life, among other things, had caused the plaintiff to suffer damages. This disability policy is not governed by ERISA as the claimant is a government employee.

Liberty Mutual Claim Denial History

The plaintiff was an employee for the University of California Davis. While employed with the university, the plaintiff purchased an employer and employee paid disability insurance from Liberty Life. Under the policy, the insured is regarded as “Totally Disabled” if:

From the first 12 months of Supplemental Disability Benefits –

Due to a medically determinable physical or mental impairment resulting from a bodily Injury or disease, you are completely unable to perform any and every duty pertaining to your own occupation;

You are not working at any occupation for wage or profit; and

You are under the direct and continuous care of a Physician.

“Total Disability” or “TotaIly Disabled” with respect to Supplemental Disability Coverage, long term period, means you will be considered Totally Disabled when Liberty determines that all of these conditions are met:

For the 13 months of Supplemental Disability Benefits Onward

Due to a medically determinable physical or mental impairment resulting from a bodily Injury or disease, you are completely unable to perform the material and substantial duties of any occupation for which you are reasonably fitted by your education, training, or experience;

You are not working at any occupation for wage or profit; and

You are under the direct and continuous care of a Physician.

The plaintiff, on April 2009, was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia. Consequently, she filed a claim for disability benefits with Liberty Life under the disability policy. Her claim for disability benefits was denied by Liberty Life. As a result of the denial, the plaintiff appealed the Liberty Life decision to deny her claim for long term disability benefits. The appeal was acknowledged by Liberty Life on August 31st 2009.

The plaintiff was informed by Liberty Life on February 11th 201o that her appeal was unsuccessful. Subsequently, the plaintiff requested Liberty Life to reconsider its decision again. The plaintiff alleged that during the entire claims and appeal process, the plaintiff had fully cooperated and provided Liberty Life with all necessary authorizations and medical documentations to support her claim. In spite of the cooperation rendered by the plaintiff, Liberty Life issued a final denial of the plaintiff’s claim for long term disability benefits on June 10th 2010.

The Allegations

In the lawsuit, the plaintiff alleged that Liberty Life had breached and acted in bad faith with regards to the insurance contract between the plaintiff and Liberty Life due to the following reasons:

Relief sought in the Lawsuit

In the lawsuit, as a result of Liberty Life’s actions, the plaintiff is seeking the following relief from the Court:

In response, Liberty Life through their disability attorney filed a motion for the case to be removed and heard in the Federal District Court for the Eastern District of California.

Leave a comment or ask us a question

There are 5 comments

  • Kerri,

    We represent disability claimants at all stages, including the application process. We accept clients on a contingency basis. To learn more about our services during the application process please watch our videos at http://www.diattorney.com/disability-application/ . Contact us for a free consultation to discuss your options.

    Gregory DellDec 21, 2012  #5

  • Hi, After visiting your site and others, I was totally shocked I to find how corrupt this insurance scam is. I have LTD through my work at Placer County in California. I have been on SDI for 9 months. I have applied for SSDI and have been denied. I hired a representative to help me and an appeal was filed. I had no idea I was going to encounter this kind of fraud with my LTD insurance.

    MyLTD requires that I b off work and disabled for one year before I can apply. I have fibromyalgia, bladder and bowel problems which has required hospitalizations, osteoarthrits, PTSD, severe concentration and memory problems.. I also have anxiety disorder and depression. In add tion to all the pain, extreme fatigue and dizziness, I have extreme drowsiness.

    What I want to know is an I hire you right when I apply? I do not have the strenghth to take up this apparently long fight to obtain the insurance that has been paid for.

    Do you take clients on a contingency basis?

    kerriDec 20, 2012  #4

  • Thank you for your response, Mr. Dell. I will start taking the appeal steps right away, as I just received the denial letter a few days ago. I will keep your information for future reference.

    JOct 4, 2011  #3

  • J,

    It may be possible to file a class action disability lawsuit against Liberty, but it may not be in your best interest. Please contact us if you would like us to review your disability denial and discuss your possible options. You will probably need to file an appeal before you can file a lawsuit, but we will discuss when you call. You must comply with all applicable time deadlines.

    Gregory DellSep 30, 2011  #2

  • Hi – I am also a UCD employee who was just denied short-term disability coverage from Liberty as well. I would like to know if there is possibly a way we can start a class-action lawsuit since I’ve heard this happens to most, if not all, non-pregnancy disability claims here…

    Thanks,
    J.

    JSep 29, 2011  #1

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