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Liberty Mutual sued in Tampa Federal Court for denying long term disability insurance benefits

An ERISA disability lawsuit was filed against the Liberty Life Assurance Company, this time in Federal Court in the Middle District of Florida. Andrea Medders was forced to file suit after her administrative appeals were denied and Liberty Life, also known as Liberty Mutual refused to pay her long term disability benefits.

In the suit, Ms. Medder’s tampa disability attorneys argues that Liberty Life did not afford her with a full and fair review of her disability claim and utilized an unreasonable claims handling process. Additionally, Ms. Medder’s tampa disability lawyers also allege that a serious conflict of interest exists for Liberty Mutual. Liberty Mutual makes the final decision to approve or deny claims under the policy. If the claim is approved, Liberty Mutual is then responsible for paying claimants, such as Ms. Medders, the benefits they are due. This creates a conflict for Liberty Mutual between its duties to Ms. Medders as an ERISA fiduciary and its duties to its shareholders as a for-profit corporation.

Lastly, Ms. Medders argues that the Court should allow her to present evidence of her disability under the de novo standard instead of the “abuse of discretion” standard. In ERISA cases, the default standard of review is “de novo” unless the governing disability policy grants discretion to the insurance carrier. It is very rare to see employer provided disability insurance policies that do not grant this discretion to the carrier, thus most ERISA cases tend to be subject to judicial reviews that only allow the court to determine if the carrier abused its discretion. If the abuse of discretion standard is used, although there may be sufficient evidence to support a finding of disability, the court will uphold the carrier’s decision to deny if there is a reasonable explanation for the denial. If the court is allowed to use the “de novo” standard, the court is can review the decision with a more critical eye. The Court then has the right to look at the evidence and evaluate whether the carrier’s decision was right, not just reasonable.

With this lawsuit, Ms. Medders is seeking a judgment for the disability benefits that she is due pursuant to the contract, plus interest, costs and attorney fees. Disability Attorneys Dell & Schaefer are not representing Ms. Medders in this lawsuit.

There is one comment so far

  • This is not an Insurance Co. it is a racketeering ring. I won a fully fav. to me decision in SSA paid me wrong this Company took everything. We sent them the proof over and over again. Now they will not talk to me. I have a payee through SSA they never once spoke to him. Offset % of my payments and sent w2’a to the IRS all that time stating I was paid. I paid taxes on money I never received because of them. While they did all this they sent me to a Collection agency telling them I was not paying anything the collection agency stopped collecting from me when they found out what they where doing. Wow. We now have an Attorney helping us that informed us we have to fix the mess this “Insurance Co.” left at SSA 11 years ago.

    Melinda Goldman Mar 20, 2015  #1

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Questions About Hiring Us

Do you help Liberty Mutual claimants nationwide?

We represent Liberty Mutual 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 Liberty Mutual disability insurance policy?

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

How do you help Liberty Mutual claimants?

Our lawyers help individuals that have either purchased a Liberty Mutual 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 Liberty Mutual:

  • 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.

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Dell & Schaefer has earned a reputation as a top notch law firm specializing in disability insurance claims. I understand why. My personal experience was nothing short of fantastic. I was overwhelmingly impressed with the professional manner of both my attorneys and their staff. Rachel Alters, my lead attorney, is an incredibly detail oriented and experienced attorney who specializes in litigation. She guided me through the claim process with expert precision. I was extremely pleased with every step and the ultimate outcome of my claim. All of my expectations were not only met, but exceeded. Hiring Dell & Schaefer was one of the best decisions I have ever made.

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