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Kirk & Blum/CECO Environmental Employee Files Lawsuit Against Lincoln Financial Group For Wrongful Termination Of Long-Term Disability Benefits

An attorney has filed a Federal disability lawsuit in Ohio Federal Court against Lincoln Financial Group (Lincoln). The Plaintiff, George P., was employed by Kirk & Blum, a subsidiary of Ceco Environmental, as a metal fabricator. This employment enabled the Plaintiff to be covered by a group insurance policy provided on behalf of Ceco Environmental employees and insured by Lincoln.

In George P. v. Lincoln Financial Group, Plaintiff seeks reinstatement of long-term disability benefits that were wrongfully terminated by Lincoln.

Facts of the Lawsuit Against Lincoln

Plaintiff was employed until April 2009 when he could no longer work due to physical impairments. He was treated by his physician who issued a certificate where he could not work due to limitations imposed by arthritis, hips, and hands, bilateral carpal tunnel syndrome, knee pain, and other ailments.

Plaintiff filed an application for disability benefits after the 180-day Elimination Period, which Lincoln granted, paying the Plaintiff his maximum monthly benefit of $540.00.

Lincoln Terminates Plaintiff’s Long-Term Monthly Disability Benefit Payments

Lincoln informed Plaintiff on August 13, 2010 that it was terminating Plaintiff’s monthly benefits effective October 11, 2010 on the basis that the medical evidence did not support the Plaintiff’s claim that he was still disabled according to the terms of the Plan.

Plaintiff hired an attorney to assist him with his claim. A series of letters were exchanged between the Plaintiff and Lincoln. Plaintiff appealed the denial, but Lincoln denied the appeal even though Plaintiff was approved for Social Security Benefits and has been receiving them since October 2009. Due to exhausting all administrative remedies, Plaintiff has filed this ERISA lawsuit against Lincoln.

Filing Of Disability Lawsuit Against Lincoln

In this lawsuit, the Plaintiff claims that Lincoln committed the following wrongful actions against the Plaintiff:

  • Wrongfully denying the long-term disability benefits that the Plaintiff was entitled to according to the terms of the Plan
  • Wrongfully processing the Plaintiff’s appeal of Lincoln’s original denial
  • Wrongfully denying the Plaintiff’s claim based on a significant contract of interest because Lincoln both underwrites and administers the Plan
  • Failing to comply with ERISA procedural requirements while handling Plaintiff’s claim
  • Failing to allow Plaintiff to revise his claim by informing him of what additional documents and medical evidence was needed to file a successful claim for the continuation of long-term disability benefits
  • Failing to allow the Plaintiff to have due process
  • Failing to perform its duty of handling the Plaintiff’s claim in good faith
  • Failing to provide reasonable justification in why it denied Plaintiff’s claim
  • Committing actions that constituted fraud, malice, oppression, and insult toward the Plaintiff in wrongfully denying Plaintiff’s claim for benefits

Plaintiff Wants Following Relief From The Court

Due to the wrongful actions of Lincoln against him, Plaintiff seeks following reimbursement from Lincoln:

  • A judgment against Lincoln that it wrongfully terminated Plaintiff’s long-term disability benefits
  • A judgment against Lincoln that forces it to pay all owed benefits, along with accrued interest
  • A judgment against Lincoln to pay all attorney fees incurred by the Plaintiff in filing this lawsuit
  • A judgment against Lincoln to pay all associated court costs related to this case
  • A judgment that allows Plaintiff to have a jury trial based on Plaintiff’s claim of Lincoln acting in bad faith in terminating Plaintiff’s long-term disability benefits
  • A judgment that forces Lincoln to pay all other relief that the Court deems proper and just

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