A Federal lawsuit filed in United States District Court Southern District of Florida accuses the Hartford Life and Accident Insurance Company of breaching its contract with Branch Banking and Trust (BB&T) and a BB&T employee. Filed by noted disability insurance law firm Dell and Schafer, the suit states that Hartford is refusing to pay benefits to the employee, a U.S. Patriot Act/Anti-Money Laundering Analyst. The refusal by The Hartford violates the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, commonly referred to as ERISA.
The lawsuit states that Hartford claims the analyst is capable of working, despite a medical diagnosis of Cervical Degenerative Disc Disease and migraine headaches. The analyst has been unable to perform one or more of the essential duties of her occupation due to her condition since June of 2006. While Hartford initially agreed to pay the claim, the company reversed its decision, stating that the analyst can continue to work. Doctors, however, say that the analyst is completely disabled under the terms of the Hartford policy.
According to the lawsuit, the analyst and her employer paid premiums to Hartford Life and Accident Insurance Company per the terms of the contract, and followed all policies and procedures in submitting the claim. At all times the analyst has been and remains disabled and is entitled to Long Term Disability Benefits under the terms of the policy. While the Social Security Administration approved her disability benefits, Hartford refuses to advise the analyst, or her attorneys, what additional information is needed for the claim to be honored. As a result of Hartford’s refusal to honor its legally binding contract with the analyst, the analyst has been forced to retain legal counsel to represent her in this matter.
The plaintiff seeks entry of judgment against Hartford for damages including but not limited to past due contractual benefits, future benefits, interest, and attorney fees.