Insured’s Lawsuit Dismissed By Massachusetts Federal Court For Being Filed Too Late
Author: Attorney Stephen Jessup
On September 11, 2013, a Massachusetts Federal Judge ruled that a long term disability insurance claimant whose monthly benefit had been underpaid by MetLife since 2005 was not able to collect the money owed as he waited too long to bring a lawsuit. No portion of this disability claim was handled by Attorneys Dell & Schaefer.
The plaintiff in this case argued that each month that MetLife underpaid his monthly disability benefit constituted a new “cause of action” and a violation of ERISA and that extended the/created a new Statute of Limitations (timeframe) for which to bring a lawsuit. Unfortunately, the Court did not agree.
When did the Statute of Limitations begin?
In rejecting the Plaintiff’s theory that with the issuance of each underpaid monthly benefit a new cause of action to sue MetLife occurred, the Court reviewed the applicable caselaw in various circuits around the country and reviewed the spirit and meaning of ERISA. The Court noted that under ERISA, a cause of action accrues when a Plaintiff reasonably becomes aware of the interference with his rights – in this case when he first learned he was being underpaid in 2005. As such MetLife’s clear violation in 2005 of the Plaintiff’s right to a greater monthly benefit amount required the Plaintiff to bring legal action within the applicable statute of limitation as commencing in 2005 and failure to do so has barred the Plaintiff from recovering the owed money – even though MetLife was in the wrong.
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If you have any concerns that your long term disability insurance carrier is not paying the correct monthly disability benefit, then contact our disability insurance lawyers for a free consultation to discuss your claim.
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