KeyCorp District Manager Sues The Prudential Insurance Company Of America For Improper Termination Of Long-Term Disability Benefits

A New York attorney recently filed a federal lawsuit against The Prudential Insurance Company of America (Prudential). The Plaintiff, Gaye D., was employed by KeyCorp as a District Manager/Area Retail Leader. Her employment enabled Plaintiff to be covered by KeyCorp’s long-term disability Plan, which was funded by Prudential.

In Gaye D. v. The Prudential Insurance Company of America, Plaintiff seeks the payment of owed long-term disability benefits and reinstatement of future long-term disability benefits that were wrongfully ended by Prudential.

Case Facts Against Prudential

Plaintiff was employed as a District Manager/Area Retail Leader by KeyCorp until she became disabled in or around January 2008. Plaintiff was originally diagnosed with a herniated disc problem in October 2005. An MRI confirmed that the Plaintiff had a bulging disc at the C5-6 level.

Plaintiff was referred to Dr. Liu, who recommended physical therapy, but this was unsuccessful in relieving the pain. As a result, Plaintiff began receiving Epidural Steroid Injections every six months.

In June 2007, Plaintiff began experiencing severe pain in her lower back that radiated into both of her legs. This was due to bulging discs and disc degeneration. This led to the Plaintiff having difficulty sitting, standing, and walking. Dr. Liu suggested that the Plaintiff take some time off of work to allow the swelling to subside, so the Plaintiff took four weeks off from work.

Plaintiff returned to work on or about August 20, 2007, but began experiencing pain after just one week of work. This led to Plaintiff being absent on sick leave for six weeks, continuing with physical therapy and injections.

Dr. Liu first recommended to Plaintiff in October 2007 that Plaintiff should consider going out on permanent disability as her condition would not improve with time and could get worse with additional work. Plaintiff chose to ignore this advice and continued working for three more months.

Plaintiff had difficulty managing her pain and returned to see Dr. Liu in January 2008. Dr. Liu gave Plaintiff more shots and again suggested permanent disability, but Plaintiff again refused and returned to work. Plaintiff had to see Dr. Liu again in April 2008. Dr. Liu clearly advised Plaintiff that she would be unable to walk without pain and her pain would continue to worsen if she didn’t go on permanent disability. Plaintiff finally agreed to stop working in April 2008.

Plaintiff applied for long-term disability benefits, which Prudential granted from April 2008 through December 23, 2009.

Termination of Long-Term Disability Benefits By Prudential

Via letter dated December 24, 2009, Prudential informed Plaintiff that her long-term disability benefits would run out on December 23, 2009 despite the fact that Plaintiff’s medical condition had not improved since she began receiving benefits in April 2008. Prudential based its decision on a 20-minute independent medical examination (click here for more information on Independent Medical Examinations (IME)) that suggested that Plaintiff could sustain part or full-time light capacity for an eight-hour day.

Plaintiff filed an administrative appeal that challenged Prudential’s decision via a letter to Prudential on January 26, 2010. Prudential denied this appeal via letter dated April 30, 2010. Plaintiff issued a second appeal on November 26, 2010, arguing that Prudential’s decision to uphold its denial based on video surveillance of the Plaintiff and the independent medical examiner’s report were both flawed. Prudential issued a final denial of benefits on February 24, 2011. Due to exhausting all administrative remedies, Plaintiff has filed this lawsuit against Prudential.

Lawsuit Filed Against Prudential For Improper Termination Of Long-Term Disability Benefits

The lawsuit claims that the following wrongful actions were committed by Prudential against the Plaintiff:

Following Relief Sought By The Plaintiff Against Prudential

Due to the improper actions by Prudential, Plaintiff asks for the following relief from the Court:

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We represent Prudential clients nationwide and we encourage you to contact us for a FREE immediate phone consultation with one of our experienced disability insurance attorneys.

Can you help with a Prudential disability insurance policy?

Our disability insurance lawyers help policy holders seeking short or long term disability insurance benefits from Prudential. We have helped thousands of disability insurance claimants nationwide with monthly disability benefits. With more than 40 years of disability insurance experience we have helped individuals in almost every occupation and we are familiar with the disability income policies offered by Prudential.

How do you help Prudential claimants?

Our lawyers help individuals that have either purchased a Prudential long term disability insurance policy from an insurance company or obtained short or long term disability insurance coverage as a benefit from their employer.

Our experienced lawyers can assist with Prudential:

  • ERISA and Non-ERISA Appeals of Disability Benefit Denials
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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.

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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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Gladys F.

I worked extremely hard on Wall Street for over twenty years – spending almost seventeen years at one of the biggest and most reputable firms – where in the 360 annual reviews I was consistently within the top five percent of performers. I suffered an injury while at work and had to undergo spine surgery and take medical leave to recuperate which lasted almost six months. However, that surgery didn’t do what we all expected and as time went by I got worse. The pain was too much, I was hardly able to walk, work, commute, sleep or anything. I had to be constantly drugged, having involuntary leg spasms at night that are extremely painful. Three top US Doctors agreed the only way to help me was for me to undergo an anterior and posterior spine fusion. This meant a very long and risky surgery and we didn’t know how long I would be unable to work. At that moment – I was laid off from my job.

After the 2nd surgery and until today, I continued to suffer from lots of pain, lack of mobility, depression, anxiety, inability to care for myself or my family, the painful leg spams continued and I realized my life had changed for the worse. I applied for disability insurance from my LTD carrier – this is the insurance I had been paying out of pocket for about sixteen years just in case I ever needed it. Despite all the Doctor’s reports, all the pain and suffering, the disability, medication and symptoms I have, the fact that my family has to do many things for me including help me bathe and dress and despite the fact that I’m going to need a third surgery pretty soon, the LTD carrier denied my claim. I contacted the law firm of Dell & Schaefer after conducting some research on great law firms in the US.

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