Fifty-nine-year old, former Northrop Grumman Corporation employee Rita L. and her Utah disability lawyer filed suit against UNUM Life Insurance Company and her employer in Federal Court in Utah. Claiming that the UNUM Plan Administrator erroneously denied Rita her disability benefits, the complaint asks the District Court to right this wrong.
An employee of Northrop Grumman Corporation for 24 years as an electrical assembler, Rita “developed a series of chronic severe health problems which gradually worsened over time.” At the time of her application for her disability benefits from UNUM, Rita suffered from “degenerative disc disease of the lumbar spine, knee pain, hip pain, migraine headaches, sleep apnea, as well as anxiety and depression.” And, even though Northrop Grumman made some accommodations to help Rita continue working, there came a point in time when she could no longer perform her duties as an electrical assembler.
Utah claimant quits work due to disabling condition
Consequently, Rita quit her job on December 22, 2009 and applied for and was awarded short term disability benefits from her employee UNUM plan. Once her short term disability benefits ran out, Rita applied for her long term disability benefits, but was denied on August 3, 2010. After exhausting all administrative appeals with the insurer and being denied again and again, Rita has found it necessary to hire a disability attorney and file this lawsuit.
Details of claimant’s complaint against UNUM
In the complaint, Rita’s attorney points out that Rita provided the insurer with all the necessary and required medical documentation that verifies her disabling condition. Rita and her disability attorney allege that UNUM failed to provide a full and fair review of her claim and in so doing violated ERISA as well as breached its fiduciary duty to award disability benefits pursuant to the terms and provisions of Rita’s disability insurance plan. They claim the denial of Rita’s entitled disability benefits has resulted in damages to Rita in the amount of some $30,000.00 or more and ask the Court to order UNUM to reverse its denial of Rita’s claim, award her long term disability benefits retroactively to June 20, 2010, plus interest, award Rita reasonable attorney’s fees and costs and award her any other relief the Court “deems just, proper and equitable in the circumstances.”