Medical Doctor Suffering From Disabling Chronic Conditions Sues AXA Equitable For Wrongful Denial Of Disability Benefits

A Montana disability lawyer recently filed a federal lawsuit against the AXA Equitable Life Insurance Company (AXA). The Plaintiff, Marise J., M.D., was employed as a licensed medical doctor and was board certified in internal medicine. She had been practicing medicine for over 30 years.

In Marise J., M.D. v. AXA Equitable Life Insurance Company, Disability Management Services, Inc., and Does A-E, Inclusive, Plaintiff has filed this v to recover disability benefits that have been wrongfully withheld by AXA.

The Facts of the Case Against AXA

Plaintiff had a policy with AXA (formerly “The Equitable Life Assurance Society of the United States”) since October 4, 1987 that provided coverage for “Total Disability” and “Residual Disability.” The Plan provided up to $2,500 per month of coverage for Total Disability and a basic benefit for Residual Disability dependent upon the loss of Prior Monthly Earnings due to the inability to perform occupational duties.

On February 11, 2010, Plaintiff filed a claim for Residual Disability benefits due to the fact that she was suffering from disabling chronic conditions that impaired her ability to perform duties necessary to her practice. AXA notified Plaintiff on February 12, 2010 that her claim had been referred to DMS for continuing claim management and administration.

No Response From AXA Regarding Plaintiff’s Claim

Nineteen months have passed, but AXA still has not confirmed Plaintiff’s claim. Plaintiff continues to work reduced hours due to her disabling chronic conditions. She has been under the care of several physicians regarding her continuing condition. The failure of AXA to approve Plaintiff’s claim has led to much financial and emotional damage for the Plaintiff.

Disability Attorney Files Disability Lawsuit Against AXA

The lawsuit alleges that AXA failed to provide the following to the Plaintiff:

Plaintiff Seeks Following Relief From AXA

Due to AXA’s actions, Plaintiff wants the following relief by the Court:

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There are 4 comments

  • Johnny,

    Your policy likely requires you to attend the examination. Failure to appear will result in a termination of your contract and all disability benefits. You can try to undergo your own psych testing before they send you to a hired gun. Give us a call and we can discuss some options with you. Beware of malingering as it a defence favourite for denying claims.

    Gregory DellMar 14, 2013  #4

  • I have been on claim with Equitable for 4 years. Now they want a neurophysco testing done a.k.a. test for malingering. I have two docs now that fill out my claim forms quarterly, what is it they are trying to do with an IME, kick me by their curb? Do I have to go and have this neurophysco test done – which of course will be in my Obama file and I am sure will have to surrender my 2nd amendment rights – please advise.

    Thank you!

    Johnny GeeMar 13, 2013  #3

  • Raymond,

    We are sorry to hear about the stall tactics you are experiencing from Disability Management Services. If we can assist you with your claim, then please contact us for a free consultation. You need make sure they have all your medical records and keep their feet to the fire.

    Gregory DellJan 30, 2013  #2

  • Axa, Equitable and Disability Management – have been stalling my claims several times with little to no payment, after a recent car accident after work that put me in hospital with severe concussion, neck and back injuries. Now, after giving them all documents requested, they continue to request so call documents not received. Just stalling! My last claim after falling in hole and ankle surgery they paid two monthes. Although my ortho Dr. kept me in therapy over 18 months for RDS and neck and back related disc problems, besides a lame foot.

    Raymond Ruscito Sr.Jan 29, 2013  #1


Do you help Axa Equitable claimants nationwide?

We represent Axa Equitable 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 Axa Equitable disability insurance policy?

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

How do you help Axa Equitable claimants?

Our lawyers help individuals that have either purchased a Axa Equitable 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 Axa Equitable:

  • 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

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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.

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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, 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.

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Mary R.

I first started working with Dell & Schaefer after two failed back surgeries forced me to stop working. I was the major breadwinner of our family and had a very generous compensation package that included long term disability. I was certainly glad to know that I had the long term disability policy to help us during this major change in my family’s life. I was surprised to learn that long term disability means something very different to the insurance company (MetLife) who held my policy. They wanted to place an 18 month restriction on pay out and wash their hands of me. Hardly “long term”.

I hired Dell & Schaefer to fight for me and that they did. They were well schooled in the tactics of insurance companies and they expertly navigated the many barricades the insurance company placed in front of me. They were extremely knowledgeable in all areas of the law and quickly identified a course of action. They were fair and sensitive with my personal concerns and I always felt that I had an advocate on my side. Their experience proved invaluable as they were able to successfully argue my case and win my long term disability case, securing my benefit and my family’s income needs. And they continue to support me, as insurance companies continue to find ways to challenge the validity of your claim even after the initial decision is made in your favor.

Dell & Schaefer handles everything for me. This is an extraordinarily difficult thing I have had to endure. Without this money, I have no idea how my family would have been able to survive. Insurance companies can be brutal on individuals and when one is at their most vulnerable as I was, it is critical to have a knowledgeable and powerful attorney on your side. I like the fact that I don’t have to worry about anything and that everything is handled for me by Dell & Schaefer. I am glad to recommend Dell & Schaefer to anyone who needs a strong advocate on their side.

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