Liberty Mutual Ordered to Pay Attorney Fees in Disability Denial Lawsuit
Liberty Mutual loses a disability claim and they still keep fighting. In a long term disability denial ERISA lawsuit against Liberty Mutual, and Indiana Federal Judge held that Liberty abused their discretion and remanded the case back to Liberty to re-evaluate the claim. The courts decision to remand the case means that Liberty Mutual essentially gets another chance to try to deny disability benefits. In most remands the insurance company will reinstate benefits, so it is likely that this claimant will prevail. Unfortunately in this case, Liberty tried to argue that the claimant’s attorney fees should not be paid as the claimant was not awarded benefits. The court rejected Liberty’s argument and award $35,000 in attorney fees. It is insulting that Liberty would expect the claimant to be able afford the cost of litigating his claim. The court even awarded attorney fees for the time spent by claimant’s attorney arguing to receive attorney fees. This claim was not handled by our firm.
In making a decision to award Attorney Fees the court stated:
there is a “modest presumption” in favor of awarding attorney’s fees, and the inquiry is whether the losing party’s position had a reasonable or “solid” basis in law and fact. E.g., Harris Trust, 57 F.3d at 616-17. Under this approach, the Court finds that Claimant is entitled to fees because Liberty Life’s position does not have a solid basis in fact and no special circumstances would otherwise make an award unjust.
Great Victory For Disability Claimant’s Seeking Attorney Fees in ERISA Cases
This case is a good victory for disability claimants as it sends a message that insurance companies are more likely than not going to be responsible for paying attorney fees and cost if a claimant wins their disability lawsuit. If your claim has been denied and your are seeking assistance, then please contact us at 800-682-8331 for a free phone consultation. In all of our disability claim denial cases we never charge any fees or costs unless we win your claim.