At least five lawsuits were recently filed in Florida District Courts against Prudential for non-payment of disability benefits to deserving claimants

With at least five suits filed against them in July for denying disability benefits, Prudential Insurance Company of America has a lot of unhappy claimants in Florida.

Darlene H. v. Prudential Insurance Company

On July 25, 2011, Darlene H. and her Florida disability attorney filed suit against Prudential when the insurer failed to pay her disability benefits as expected. In the complaint, filed in the United States District Court of Florida, Tampa Division, Darlene and her disability attorney accuse the insurer of having a conflict of interest in deciding whether or not to pay out disability benefits, acting arbitrarily and capriciously, failing to apply the provisions of their plans consistently, failing to conduct a “full and fair review” of her claim as stipulated in the Employee Insurance Retirement Security Act of 1974 (ERISA), failing to follow their own internal guidelines for determining awards of claimant disability benefits, and failing to comply with laws governing the administering of such disability policies. Darlene and her attorney want the Court to order the insurer to provide a “full and fair” review of Darlene’s claim as well as cover her attorney fees and court costs.

Lisa T. v. Prudential Insurance Company

On July 19, 2011, Lisa T., an employee at Zimmerman & Partners Advertising, Inc. as a Human Resources Director, and her disability attorney filed suit against Prudential in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida, Fort Lauderdale Division. Lisa became disabled in June 2009 from SLE (Systematic Lupus Erythematosus), chronic and Severe Fatigue, Worsening Memory Loss, Swelling of hands and Feet, Decreased Concentration Status, Chronic Joint Pain, Persistent Erythromelagia, Guillan-Barre Syndrome, Rhematoid Arthritis, Reynaud’s phenomenon and poor sleep. Prudential initially paid Torres long-term disability from December 2009 until May 2010. At that time, Prudential determined that Torres no longer met the definition of disabled and no longer qualified for long-term disability benefits. Still suffering from the debilitating symptoms of SLE, Torres appealed the decision only to be denied again.

Consequently, as a result of the withholding of her entitled disability benefits, Torres and her attorney filed a complaint against Prudential alleging that its decision was arbitrary and capricious and breached the contract the insurer had with Torres. Torres and her disability attorney ask the District Court for an order to force Prudential to fulfill its obligations under Torres’ disability policy and reinstate her benefits plus attorney’s fees.

Charles C. v. Prudential Insurance Company

In the July 19, 2011 complaint filed against Prudential Insurance Company by Charles C. and his attorney, the plaintiff, a US Food Service, Inc. Sales/Territory Manager filed for disability benefits when he became disabled in August 2009. Suffering from “gastroenterological symptoms, cervical radiculopathy and Myelopathy and lumbar radiculopathy,” Charles was paid long-term disability benefits from February 2010 until August 2010. Claiming Charles no longer met its definition of disabled, Prudential terminated Charles’ benefits. With ammunition from the insurer’s own doctors, who verified that Charles’ medical records indicated that Charles was limited in his ability to perform his job, Prudential ignored all evidence of Charels’ disabling condition and denied all appeals, which led to the filing of Charles’ lawsuit.

In the complaint the two allege that Prudential was arbitrary and capricious, ignored Charles’ documentation of his condition, breached its contract with Charles, and “is guilty of bad faith, has been stubbornly litigious, and has caused (Chares) unnecessary trouble, expense, and emotional distress.” Consequently, they ask the Florida District Court to render judgment for Charles and against Prudential and force the insurer to pay Charles’ disability benefits per the terms and conditions of his policy as well as reimburse him for attorney’s fees and court expenses.

Arnold R. v. Prudential Financial

A senior vice president and his Florida disability lawyer filed suit against Prudential on August 1, 2011 in the Miami Division of the United State District Court of the Southern District of Florida for unpaid disability benefits. Arnold , an HIV sufferer since 1992, was the beneficiary of a long term disability insurance policy with Prudential that went into effect in 1982, which was originally administered by his employer Bank of New York. At the time of his diagnosis, Arnold was the Senior Vice President of Global Custody and Securities Lending for the Bank of New York. According to Arnold’s lawyer, as stated in their complaint, Arnold “suffers from debilitating gastrointestinal problems, particularly chronic diarrhea, fatigue, problems with memory and concentration, and peripheral neuropathy in his lets as well as recurring skin conditions and rashes and recurring pulmonary conditions such as pneumonia and bronchitis,” due to his illness and medications he takes to control his HIV infection. Consequently, Arnold went on short term disability from Prudential in August of 1992. On May 1, 2005, Arnold’s disability benefits administration was taken over by Prudential. And, on January 10, 2006, Prudential terminated Arnold’s benefits.

According to Prudential, since Arnold was originally on the Executive Disability Plan, he does not fall under the definition of “disabled” per that plan. Asked for a copy of this document and not receiving that copy, Arnold appealed the insurer’s decision to terminate his disability benefits. That appeal and his second appeal were denied, still without the provision of the again requested plan details. Finally in January 2007, Arnold was able to procure a copy of the Executive Disability Plan Summary from Bank of New York. However, the plan was not the 1982 version, but the 1995 version. Not able to document that there even was an Executive Disability Plan when Arnold began receiving his disability benefits in 1992, Arnold is disabled under his plan.

With little progress in pointing out this discrepancy to the disability plans, Arnold hired a attorney to help him retrieve his rightful disability benefits. In the complaint, Arnold and his disability attorney, claim that Prudential and the Bank of New York has breached its contract with Arnold, that it has failed to provide documents in violation of the Employee Retirement Security Act (ERISA) and have asked the Court to order the defendants to pay all Arnold’s unpaid disability benefits plus interest, pay civil penalties for their failure to provide requested documents to Arnold and his attorney, pay Arnold the correct amount of disability benefits had he been subject to the Executive Disability Plan, pay Arnold’s attorney’s fees and Court costs.

Nancy P. v. Prudential

On July 14, 2011, Nancy P. and her disability attorney filed a lawsuit against Prudential to recover her wrongfully denied disability benefits. In the complaint, filed in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Florida, Pensacola Division, Nancy and her attorney allege that the insurer has breached its duty as fiduciary administrator of Nancy’s disability plan and has a conflict of interest in taking on the role of administrator to the plan.

Nancy was paid disability benefits from December 16, 2009 until March 17, 2010. Then Prudential refused to pay any disability benefits to Nancy after March 18, 2010, claiming Nancy no longer qualified as disabled. After appealing this decision, Nancy turned to an attorney to take her case to District Court. She and her disability attorney ask the Court to award Nancy her disability benefits, continuing and unpaid since March 18, 2010, interest, attorney’s fees and a declaration that Nancy meets the disability qualifications under the plan and is entitled to such benefits as provided by the plan.

Learn more: Why are Prudential Lawsuits Challenging For Disability Claimants?

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Do you work in my state?

Yes. We are a national disability insurance law firm that is available to represent you regardless of where you live in the United States. We have partner lawyers in every state and we have filed lawsuits in most federal courts nationwide. Our disability lawyers represent disability claimants at all stages of a claim for disability insurance benefits. There is nothing that our lawyers have not seen in the disability insurance world.

What are your fees?

Since we represent disability insurance claimants at different stages of a disability insurance claim we offer a variety of different fee options. We understand that claimants living on disability insurance benefits have a limited source of income; therefore we always try to work with the claimant to make our attorney fees as affordable as possible.

The three available fee options are a contingency fee agreement (no attorney fee or cost unless we make a recovery), hourly fee or fixed flat rate.

In every case we provide each client with a written fee agreement detailing the terms and conditions. We always offer a free initial phone consultation and we appreciate the opportunity to work with you in obtaining payment of your disability insurance benefits.

Do I have to come to your office to work with your law firm?

No. For purposes of efficiency and to reduce expenses for our clients we have found that 99% of our clients prefer to communicate via telephone, e-mail, fax, GoToMeeting.com sessions, or Skype. If you prefer an initial in-person meeting please let us know. A disability company will never require you to come to their office and similarly we are set up so that we handle your entire claim without the need for you to come to our office.

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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 800-682-8331 or by email. Lawyer 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.

Reviews

Bruce R. (Arizona)

Steve Dell has done an exceptional job with my disability application process. The firm is extremely well managed. They have acquired an incredible amount of experience over many years. I recommend them for disability insurance claims without reservation. 

Don (Florida)

I called this firm a few months ago completely disparaged due to a company cutting off disability benefits at a time that nearly caused me to lose everything.

Attorney Alex Palmera and Danielle worked hard to reach an amicable settlement and my case was settled a few months later. This is a good firm and the specific expertise in disability claims saved me countless hours of hassle at a time when an already fragile state existed.

Thank you Mr. Palamara and Danielle.

Sandra B. (Arkansas)

I have nothing but good things to say about how my buyout was handled with my disability claim. The level of professionalism was amazing. All of my questions and concerns were answered either by Danielle L. or Alex P. in such a timely manner and with such care I would recommend them in a heartbeat to anyone needing to approach their provider with buyout options.

They did a fantastic job communicating between the provider and me, always keeping my best interest at heart and always answering my many many questions. They really did take most of the stress out of this whole situation. I would give them a 10 out of 10 for every step of this crazy journey. Thank you so much for helping me through this.

Brenda R. (New York)

I needed assistance with an appeal for a LTD claim that was initially denied. Stephen understood what needed to happen to win the appeal and he did win the appeal for me.

Michael C. (Virginia)

Greg Dell and his assistant Anneli have been extremely responsive and helpful, not only our initial consultations, but in follow-ups 1 and 2 years later with the insurance company to ensure that they comply with their agreements (which they did), as well as a separate and only slightly-related inquiry about our health insurance. I always hear back from them very quickly, which is rare and greatly appreciated.

Jeff P. (Oklahoma)

After a very long and frustrating ordeal to keep my LTD payments coming I decided to seek assistance from and attorney. After much research and asking those in the legal profession Dell & Schaefer seemed to be the top choice. I reached out and Alex Palamara was the attorney assigned to my case. All I can say is the experience was outstanding. Both Alex and his Paralegal, Danielle Lauria were excellent to work with. They were very kind, concerned, understanding of my frustrations and treated me with the utmost respect. Communication was excellent with regular updates and telling me what I could expect in each stage of the process.

Alex was also very straight forward with what to expect and no pie in the sky promises or expectations were made. In the end we won our case and I believe it was solely due to their experience and knowledge of not only the laws but the insurance companies as a whole. I would highly recommend them and am very grateful for the help they afforded to me.

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