Washington disability attorney filed lawsuit against the Hartford Insurance Company for denial of long term disability benefits to mentally disabled woman

A disability attorney recently filed a lawsuit on behalf of his client at the District Court for the Eastern District of Washington against the Hartford Insurance Company (Hartford). In the case of Robin (Hunt) Hankel v The Hartford Insurance Company /The Hartford Financial services Group, the plaintiff was a woman employed in the health Safety and Environmental Management/ Engineering field for Harpers. While employed with Harpers, she contributed to a disability insurance plan which was issued by Hartford.

On November 29th 2003, the plaintiff was relieved from work due to several medical conditions that prevented her from fulfilling the material duties of her occupation. She was diagnosed as having severe mental disorders resulting in her being deemed as having mental disability.

Change of Disability Definition Results in Hartford Claim Denial

On June 8th 2007, the plaintiff was informed by Hartford that her case will be subjected to a disability test change and her current disability benefits would be exhausted on June 29th 2007. The plaintiff was told that in order for her to qualify to receive more benefits, she had to demonstrate that her impairments prevented her from performing the essential duties of “any occupation” as of July 3rd 2007.

On October 1st 2007, the plaintiff appealed Hartford’s decision to deny her LTD benefits and was instructed to submit documentations to support her ERISA appeal. The plaintiff diligently supplied three years of medical records from her attending physicians as instructed by Hartford. She was later told by one of Hartford’s staff that the plaintiff did not need to provide additional documentations including the Attending Physicians Statement and Physical Capacities Evaluation.

On April 7th 2008, independent examination was performed on the plaintiff by Hartford. And based on this independent review, Hartford concluded that the plaintiff failed to prove that she was unable to perform the essential duties of any occupation and denied her claim for long term disability (LTD) benefits on May 9th 2008. Part of the reason for the denial was the failure on the plaintiff’s part to submit the Attending Physicians Statement and Physical Capacities Evaluation.

On June 25th 2008, the plaintiff submitted additional documentations from her attending physician which stated that the plaintiff was suffering from Chronic major depression, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Stephen-Johnson Syndrome, Ulcerative Colitis, Sleep Disorder, Neuropathy, Gastro-Esophageal Reflux Disease, severe allergies, back and neck pain associated with degenerative disease and early signs of multiple sclerosis. The physician’s letter also indicated that the plaintiff was taking a multitude of medications.

Despite the additional medical documentations submitted, Hartford made no effort to further evaluate the plaintiff’s claim for LTD benefit and issued a letter to the plaintiff on October 22nd 2008 stating that the final appeal decision had been reached on May 9th 2008, and was based on “a complete and final administrative record.”

Allegations made against Hartford in the lawsuit

The plaintiff claimed that Hartford had denied the plaintiff’s claim for LTD benefits even though there was convincing medial evidence to support her disability. In addition, the failure by the plaintiff to return the Attending Physicians Statement and Physical Capacities Evaluation was due to improper instructions by Hartford’s staff. As a result of Hartford’s actions, the plaintiff has suffered damages.

Relief Sought

The plaintiff is seeking from the Court the following relief:

DISABILITY INSURANCE COMPANY INFORMATION
Videos, Questions, Resolved Cases, Lawsuit Summaries & Company Reviews

disability insurance companies complaints

Leave a comment or ask us a question

There are 8 comments

  • Kimberley,

    Hartford’s doctor said you can do sedentary work? Have you filed an appeal? Please feel free to contact our office to discuss your claim.

    Stephen JessupNov 18, 2015  #8

  • I have been diagnosed with fibromyalgia and the Hartford denied my ltd because Dr. says I can do sit down jobs which I can’t.

    Kimberley H.Nov 18, 2015  #7

  • Retina,

    Your claim more than likely requires an administrative appeal of the denial before lawsuit can be brought. Please contact our office to discuss how we may be able to assist you in filing your administrative appeal.

    Stephen JessupApr 25, 2015  #6

  • We need to file a class action case against Hartford because of numerous LTD terminations and negligence and abuse by Hartford.

    Hartford terminated LTD in the middle of retina detachment surgeries because the representative engaged in irregularities and nefarious methods. Representative failed to do evaluation after yesterday’s surgery as we agreed. Instead she terminated the LTD. Wish to file litigation against Hartford and take it to trial or settle. Help!

    Retina HartfordApr 24, 2015  #5

  • Nick,

    How long ago did you submit your appeal? It is crucial to submit as complete an appeal as possible due to the fact that in the event of a final denial of benefits you will not be able to add any additional information to your file. Please feel free to contact our office to discuss your claim.

    Stephen JessupFeb 4, 2015  #4

  • I am a heart patient with 12 stents and my Dr. has gave a letter saying I can’t do any type of work. However, after 10 years, Hartford denied my disability since they say their Dr.’s say I am not disabled. I appealed with my Dr.’s letter and showing every year I had a blockage and was stented. Is this some thing you guys can help me with?

    Nick A.Feb 3, 2015  #3

  • Wanda,

    If you have not already filed your administrative Appeal please feel free to contact our office to discuss how we may be able to assist you in securing your benefit again.

    Stephen JessupDec 1, 2014  #2

  • I have been recently cut off of my LTD from the Hartford because I have not provided more proof from my doctors that I am still disabled. My doctor sent a report to them that I have not improved and am worse, but they claim this is not proof. Was their first diagnosis bogus? What is wrong with these people? All they do is harass! I am sick already, and they cause more stress and mental cruelty. I want my disability restored with all back payment.

    Wanda McLean BelcourtNov 30, 2014  #1

FAQ

Do you help Hartford claimants nationwide?

We represent Hartford 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 Hartford disability insurance policy?

Our disability insurance lawyers help policy holders seeking short or long term disability insurance benefits from Hartford. 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 Hartford.

How do you help Hartford claimants?

Our lawyers help individuals that have either purchased a Hartford 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 Hartford:

  • ERISA and Non-ERISA Appeals of Disability Benefit Denials
  • ERISA and Non-ERISA Disability Benefit Lawsuits
  • Applying For Short or Long Term Disability Benefits
  • Daily Handling & Management of Your Disability Claim
  • Disability Insurance Lump-Sum Buyout or Settlement Negotiations

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.

How can I contact you?

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.

Dell & Schaefer Client Reviews   *****

Emily H. (Massachusetts)

Rachel and team were professional, knowledgeable and competent in helping me with my disability insurance claim denial. I would not have been able to do this work myself successfully.  I had an illness best known as Chronic Lyme (I have more issues than that but that’s what I understood my diagnosis to be at the time of claim denial). This is a complex illness that is plagued with faulty testing, delayed diagnosis, inconsistent prognosis/ treatment outcomes, and vague (deniable) symptoms.

Advances in the disease’s treatment have stalled for decades due to financial & reputational conflicts of interest that exist across the healthcare/ insurance / government industries. It is a major thing to go against, and a very complex & constantly evolving issue, and Rachel was very familiar with all the chronic Lyme ‘inside baseball.’ Not many people want to get involved with anything Chronic Lyme-related if they have a choice. Finding an attorney that has expertise in this area is a rare find, and I can attest to the fact that Rachel meets this hard-to-find criteria and delivered results well beyond what I could have achieved without her.

Read 424 reviews

Speak With An Attorney Now

Request a free legal consultation: Call 800-682-8331 or Email Us