Liberty Life faces disability benefit lawsuits in Florida and Maryland for denying disability benefits

Four individuals, include two Comcast employees, with the help of their disability attorneys have filed Federal Lawsuits against Liberty Life Assurance Company of Boston for failing to pay long term disability benefits. Let’s take a closer look at each case.

Case 1

Lisa C. and her disability lawyer filed a lawsuit against Liberty Life Assurance Company of Boston in the United States District Court of the Southern District of Florida Fort Lauderdale Division on August 11, 2011. A suit filed under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA), Lisa C.’s lawsuit demands that Liberty Life supply Lisa C. with her long term disability benefits as stipulated in her employee insurance plan alleges that the insurer wrongfully denied her disability benefits. As an employee of Elan Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Lisa C. was a “participant” in Elan’s Liberty Life Assurance Plan at the time of her application for disability benefits to Liberty Life.

According to the lawsuit, Liberty Life acts as both the “insurer of benefits . . . in the capacity of a plan administrator” and “as the decision maker and payor of plan benefits,” which creates a conflict of interest and a bias that affected Liberty Life’s determination of Lisa C.’s disability claim. In October 2006, Lisa C., while insured under Elan’s Liberty Life Disability Insurance Plan, was forced from her job due to a complex disability that includes post-traumatic epilepsy which causes Lisa C. to have seizures. Upon receipt of Lisa C.’s application for long term disability benefits, Liberty Life denied her claim, “contending [Lisa C.] was not disabled. Lisa C. properly appealed Liberty’s “adverse determination” and was denied. Having exhausted all administrative appeals, Lisa C. and her disability lawyer filed the subject lawsuit demanding that Liberty Life:

  • Pay disability benefits to Lisa C.;
  • Declare Lisa C. to be entitled to reinstatement of her long term disability plan and continue to pay her disability benefits under the terms of Liberty Life’s disability insurance plan;
  • In the alternative to relief, order Liberty Life to remand Lisa C.’s claim back to the insurer for evaluation of any “new facts or submissions”;
  • Pay all attorneys’ fees and court costs;
  • Pay all pre- and post-judgment interest per ERISA standards; and
  • Provide Lisa C. any other relief the Court “deems just and proper.”

Case 2

An employee of the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale, Celeste B., through her disability attorney, filed a lawsuit against Liberty Life Assurance Company in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida Fort Lauderdale Division on July 27, 2011. As Associate Director of Admissions, Celeste B. ceased working on December 6, 2008 due to becoming totally disabled due to “bipolar disorder characterized by severe mood swings in which she cycles between depressive stages during which she is despondent, has a lack of motivation, has significant impairment in functionality, cannot maintain concentration and focus, experiences impediments in communicating and connecting with others, and suffers feelings of hopelessness, helplessness, and sadness, and manic stages in which she experiences feelings of euphoria, unquenchable energy, a sense of invincibility, irrational behavior, flight of thought, and an inability to make reasonable decisions or maintain concentration.”

With sufficient information supporting her condition and its worsening, Celeste B. applied not only for her Liberty Life disability insurance but her Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits as required by her Liberty plan. The Social Security Administration (SSA) determined that Celeste B. is indeed disabled and unable to function in any occupation. As a result of her SSD award, Celeste B. was informed that she was to repay Liberty Life for the overage of her disability benefits, which Celeste B. complied with. After that, Liberty Life continued to deduct from Celeste B.’s disability payments and then completely terminated her benefits payments on August 23, 2010, claiming she was not disabled even in the face of overwhelming medical evidence to the contrary. At the time of the filing of this lawsuit, Celeste B.was owed eleven (11) months of disability payments.

Alleging that Liberty Life is in breach of its contract with her, Celeste B.’s attorney claims that the insurer’s termination of Celeste B. disability benefits is biased, based on blatant misrepresentation of the facts of Celeste B.’s claims, and that the denial was a financial conflict of interest where Liberty Life is concerned. Celeste B.’s lawyer also accuses the insurance company of failing to consistently apply the provisions of its disability insurance plans to other similar participants as well and fails to fully and fairly review claims. Consequently, Celeste B.and her attorney ask the Court to declare that:

  • Celeste B. is disabled;
  • Liberty Life is obligated to pay continuing disability benefits to Celeste B.;
  • Liberty Life return “any and all other employee benefits and/or financial relief from any benefits” Celeste B. has lost or had to bear the costs of due to Liberty’s denial;
  • Liberty reimburse Celeste B. for interest, costs, and attorney’s fees; and
  • Allow Celeste B. to have the option of returning to the Court to try to get other declaratory relief later.

Case 3

Dustin B. and his Maryland disability lawyer ask the United States District Court of Maryland to award Dustin B.:

  • His long term disability benefits;
  • Monetary judgment against Liberty for all “amounts due and owing”;
  • Attorney’s fees; and
  • Any other relief the Court finds appropriate.

A direct sales representative for Comcast, Dustin B. at age 32 ceased working in 2010 due to cervical radiculitis after undergoing cervical surgery in July. With ongoing symptoms and further corrective surgeries in his future, Dustin B. was awarded short term disability benefits and later applied for long term disability benefits. On January 25, 2010, Liberty Life denied Dustin B.’s claim, followed by a final denial letter on April 14, 2011 after Dustin B. appealed the decision. Having exhausted all his administrative appeals, Dustin B. hired a disability lawyer and filed this lawsuit.

Claiming that Liberty Life did not fairly and fully review his claim, Dustin B. and his attorney allege that the insurer unreasonably denied Dustin B. his disability benefit payments. The insurer conducted an occupational analysis of Dustin B. condition but failed to take into consideration Dustin B.’s physical limitations and restrictions or the side effects of the many medications he takes. Thus, Dustin B.’s attorney accuses the insurer of making an arbitrary, illegal, capricious, unreasonable, discriminatory and bad faith decision in its denial of Dustin B.’s disability benefits.

Case 4

Comcast employee, Natalie M., was denied long term disability and her life insurance coverage due to the denial of her disability benefits by Liberty Life. An inbound call center representative/customer account executive, Natalie M. “has a long and well-documented history of spinal and shoulder pathologies.” Having had repeated and invasive surgical procedures and chronic pain, Natalie M. attempted to work but was forced to cease working on October 16, 2010 even after attempting to work on several previous occasions.

With benefits terminating on July 25, 2010 and all administrative appeals exhausted, Natalie M. and her disability lawyer filed this lawsuit against Liberty Life on August 1, 2011 in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan Southern Division. Natalie M. was declared disabled by the Social Security Administration (SSA) on April 29, 2011; and the SSA concluded that she had been disabled since June 2, 2009. Subsequently, Natalie M. sent this data to Liberty Life, but Liberty Life “would not entertain any further evidence supporting” Natalie M.’s disability. Consequently, Natalie M. and her disability attorney filed the subject lawsuit to get Natalie M.’s disability benefits, have her life insurance reinstated, continue to receive disability benefits as long as she is disabilities per the terms of her Liberty Life plan, and be reimbursed for all attorney’s fees, and Court costs.

Did you find this helpful?
Unhelpful (0)

Resources to Help You Win Disability Benefits

Disability Benefit Denial Options
Submit a Strong Liberty Mutual Appeal Package

We work with you, your doctors, and other experts to submit a very strong Liberty Mutual appeal.

Learn more

Sue Liberty Mutual

We have filed thousands of disability denial lawsuits in federal Courts nationwide against Liberty Mutual.

Learn more

Protect Your Benefits
Get Your Liberty Mutual Disability Application Approved
We help claimants throughout the entire application process.

Learn more

Prevent a Liberty Mutual Disability Benefit Denial
We manage every aspect of your disability claim following claim approval.

Learn more

Negotiate a Liberty Mutual Lump-Sum Settlement

Our goal is to negotiate the highest possible buyout of your long-term disability policy.

Learn more

Liberty Mutual Reviews
Answered Questions by Our Lawyers
Helpful Videos
Showing 12 of 861 Videos
Disability Benefit Tips
Showing 8 of 330 Benefit Tips

Gregory Dell and Stephen Jessup discuss their experience in handling Liberty Mutual claims at all stages

Every week we speak to individuals nationwide seeking assistance with Liberty Life Insurance ... Read More >

Disability Benefit Denial Reason #5 – Your Medical Evidence is Weak

If you're seeking long term disability benefits from an insurance company, you may be concern... Read More >

Disability Benefit Denial Reason #4 - Your Doctor Is Misled By the Disability Company

When you're seeking disability benefits under a long term disability policy, your medical rec... Read More >

Disability Benefit Denial Reason #3 - Video & Social Media Surveillance

One thing many long term disability claimants don't know about (or expect) from the claims re... Read More >

How Do You Fight a Long-Term Disability Denial?

Getting a denial letter from your disability insurance company is one of the ultimate insults... Read More >

Disability Denial Reason #2 - Change of Disability Definition & Vocational Review

One of the top reasons for terminating a claimant's long term disability benefits involves th... Read More >

Disability Denial Reason #1 – Paper Review & IME

At Dell Disability Lawyers, we've seen insurance companies give countless reasons to deny lon... Read More >

How to Apply for Reliance Standard Disability Benefits & Top 5 Reasons for a Claim Denial

At Dell & Schaefer we’ve handled hundreds of long term disability insurance claims against Reliance Standard, and have learned a few thi... Read More >
Dell Disability Cases
Showing 8 of 369 Dell Disability Cases

Liberty Mutual Approves Disability Benefits to Senior Vice President

Our client, a former Senior Vice President for a large national corporation, filed for disability after having suffered a massive stroke durin... Read More >

Liberty Mutual Overturns Denial of Disability Benefits Following Submission of an ERISA Appeal

Liberty Mutual Initially Approves Disability Claim After Finding Total Disability From Own OccupationOur client, John, was working as a Ch... Read More >

Liberty Reinstates Long Term Disability Benefits for the Second Time

Our client, a former Liberty Mutual employee, has had a less than ideal experience with Liberty - both as an employee and as a recipient of di... Read More >

Dell Disability Lawyers Successfully Appeals Denial of Benefits to Former Inventory Control Specialist

Pre-disability and initial disability claimOur client contacted us for assistance with her claim against Liberty Mutual after receiving a ... Read More >

Liberty Mutual Twice Denies and Approves Long-term Disability Benefits to IT Systems Analyst with Rheumatoid Arthritis

Our client, Ms. V, had been employed as an IT Systems Analyst with Highmark Blue Shield, one of the ten largest health insurers in the U.S. an... Read More >

After Initially Being Denied Long Term Disability Benefits, Dell Disability Lawyers Gets Former Wal-Mart Employee on Claim with Liberty Mutual

A former employee of Wal-Mart contacted our firm on March 11, 2015. She informed us that she had recently been diagnosed with Multiple Scleros... Read More >
Disability Lawsuit Stories
Showing 8 of 764 Lawsuit Stories

Court Orders Liberty to Pay LTD Benefits to Plaintiff Who Proved She was Disabled

The case of Spears v. Liberty Life Assurance Company of Boston (Liberty) began when Plaintiff was employed by United Techn... Read More >

8th Circuit Court of Appeal Overturns Award of LTD Benefits for Disabled Walmart Employee

It is important to point out that this case was not handled by Dell & Schaefer. However, we wanted to write about this case as there is mu... Read More >

LTD Claimant's Failure to Submit Timely Appeal Was Fatal to His Disability Insurance Claim

In a recent Florida case not handled by our law firm a claimant’s untimely submission of his ERISA appeal proves fatal to his claim. The cas... Read More >

District Court Affords Greater Weight To SSDI Award Than Surveillance Footage

In Rouleau v. Liberty Life Assurance Company of Boston, plaintiff Michelle Rouleau, a Registered Nurse (RN) for a Hospital, had a history... Read More >

Michigan Court Finds Plaintiff Eligible for Long Term Disability Benefits

In Chamness v. Liberty Life Assurance Company of Boston, plaintiff James Chamness, a board-certified pediatrician who is also a pediatric slee... Read More >

Liberty Mutual Ignores SSDI Approval and Denies LTD Benefits Wrongfully

Thousands of long term disability claimants receive both social security disability benefits ... Read More >

One Year Period to File Lawsuit Following Liberty Life Insurance Denial is Valid

In Webb v. Liberty Life Assurance Company of Boston, Ronald Webb, an employee of Adobe Systems Incorporated, took out several life insurance p... Read More >

Reviews from Our Clients

Request a Free Consultation

Our Lawyers Respond Same Day

5 Ways We Help Get Your Benefits Paid

Get Your Disability Application Approved

Our goal is to get your application for disability income benefits approved. Applying for disability benefits can be a difficult process and the information you provide is critical. Most disability insurance companies look at your application in hopes of finding a reason to deny your claim. Your disability company will ask you to complete numerous forms, interview you, request lots of information, speak with your doctors and possibly request to have you examined by their "hired gun" doctor.

Through our experience of having helped thousands of disability insurance claimants, our lawyers will guide you through the entire application process and give you the best chance to get your disability claim approved the first time.

Submit A Strong Appeal Package

If your disability insurance benefits have been wrongfully denied, then our lawyers know exactly what it takes to get your disability claim approved. You only get once chance to submit an Appeal, therefore every piece of evidence that will support your disability claim must be included. The goal is to win your disability benefits at the Appeal level, but while preparing your Appeal you must consider how a federal judge will review your disability claim if your benefit denial is upheld.

Preparing a strong disability appeal package is an art that requires you to understand how the courts interpret your disability policy language, ERISA regulations / laws, and how to strategically present evidence in support of your definition of "disability". We encourage you to contact any of our lawyers for a free immediate review of your disability denial.

Sue Your Disability Company

98% of the disability insurance lawsuits filed by our law firm have resulted in either the payment of benefits or a lump-sum settlement agreement. Our disability lawyers have filed ERISA governed and private policy long term disability insurance lawsuits against every major disability insurance company in state and federal courts nationwide and we love fighting for the "little guy" against the multi-billion dollar insurance company giants.

We have recovered hundreds of millions of dollars for our clients and we would like the opportunity to provide you with a free review of your disability benefit denial. There are many complex factors in a disability benefit lawsuit and the legal battle to win long term disability benefits can be fierce.

Prevent A Disability Benefit Denial

Approval of long-term disability is a continuous process as every disability insurance company will evaluate your eligibility for benefits on a monthly basis. You can never let your guard down and assume that your disability company will continue to pay your benefits for as long as you think you need them.

Our law firm offers a reasonable flat fee monthly claim handling service in which we handle every aspect of your long-term disability claim and do whatever it takes to make sure you are paid every month.

Negotiate a Lump-Sum Settlement

Let's discuss if a lump-sum settlement or buyout of your disability insurance claim is both available and makes financial sense for you. Our lawyers have negotiated more than five-hundred million dollars in disability insurance buyouts and we know how to get you a maximum settlement. A disability insurance company is not required to offer a buyout and not every disability company offers them.

Questions About Hiring Us

Who are Dell Disability Lawyers?

We are disability insurance lawyers that know how to get your short or long term disability benefits paid. As a nationwide law firm we have helped thousands of disability insurance claimants throughout the United States to collect hundreds of millions of dollars of disability insurance benefits from every major disability insurance company.

In more than 98% of our cases, our lawyers have been able to either get our clients paid monthly disability benefits or obtain a one-time lump-sum settlement. Our lawyers have seen it all when it comes to disability insurance claims and we know exactly what it takes for your disability claim to be approved.

We welcome you to contact any of our attorneys for a free immediate review of your disability claim. We also invite you to visit and subscribe to our YouTube channel where we have more than 700 videos and regularly provide tips to help protect your disability benefits.

Who do you help?

Our lawyers help individuals that have either purchased a long term disability insurance policy from an insurance company or obtained short or long term disability insurance coverage as a benefit from their employer. We have helped individuals in almost every type of occupation with monthly disability benefit payments ranging from $1,500 to $50,000.

Our clients include all types of employees ranging from retail associates, sales representatives, government employees, police officers, teachers, janitors, nurses, pilots, truck drivers, financial advisors, doctors, dentists, veterinarians, lawyers, consultants, IT professionals, engineers, professional athletes, business owners, and high level executives.

A strong understanding and presentation of the duties of your occupation is essential for securing disability insurance benefits.

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 phone, email, fax, GoToMeeting 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 800-698-9159 or by email. Lawyers 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.