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Medical Secretary suffering from “failed back syndrome” and leukemia sues The Standard Insurance Company for disability benefit denial

Despite numerous disabling medical conditions, The Standard Insurance Company Denied disability benefits. The plaintiff was a medical secretary working at a private practice. By virtue of her employment, the plaintiff became eligible for coverage under the Standard Insurance’s Select Trust Group Policy, Long Term Disability Benefits, Group Policy. Under the terms of the Plan, Standard Insurance is the Plan fiduciary and insurer.

In 2004, due to two (2) motor vehicle accidents, the plaintiff was left with neck and back pain, upper and lower extremity numbness and tingling. As a result, the plaintiff underwent a series of lumbar injections, discogram and disc decompressors at the L4-L5 and L5-S1 and S1. According to the lawsuit, despite these treatments, as well as the prescription of a daily dosage of 50 mg oxycontin, the plaintiff continued to have chronic lower back pain for the next few years.

In May 2006, the plaintiff decided to have back surgery to relieve her of the chronic pain that she was suffering from. Despite several months of recuperation, the plaintiff still suffered from severe back pain. Nevertheless, the plaintiff tried to return to work in September 2006. Unfortunately, upon returning to work, the plaintiff’s medical condition only worsened. Finally in May 2007, the Plaintiff underwent a second back surgery. According to the lawsuit, despite the two surgeries, the Plaintiff’s back pain never resolved. Consequently, the plaintiff underwent treatment for pain management. Her attending physician diagnosed the plaintiff in the latter part of 2007 with “Failed Back Syndrome”.

Award of Long Term Disability Benefits

In January 2008 following a routine evaluation, the Plaintiff diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia. The plaintiff stated in the lawsuit that irrespective of her diagnosis of leukemia, her severe pack pain continued and she became unable to work on January 28th 2008.

Shortly thereafter, the Plaintiff made an application to the Standard Insurance for long term disability benefits based on her disability. As result, the plaintiff was awarded long term disability benefits on April 28th 2008 after the ninety day elimination period. The plaintiff stated that on October 6th 2008, the Plaintiff was also awarded Social Security Disability Benefits as a result of her disability.

Termination of Disability Benefits

When the plaintiff’s leukemia went into remission, Standard Insurance terminated the plaintiff’s long term disability benefits on February 23rd 2010 on the ground that:

In summary, you ceased work due to a diagnosis and treatment for leukemia. The documentation supports you have not had a recurrence of leukemia. You have had some side effects that include peripheral neuropathy, lower extremity edema and depression. There is no satisfactory proof that these conditions are of a severity to preclude full time sedentary level work.

The plaintiff alleged that Standard Insurance had totally ignored her well documented back pain and “failed back syndrome” but choose to focus only on her leukemia.

On June 28th 2010, the plaintiff appealed the denial of benefits and submitted several reports to support her claim of total disability. Despite the overwhelming medical evidence of the plaintiff’s back problem, Standard Insurance on August 16, 2010, reaffirmed its prior decision to terminate the Plaintiff’s long term disability benefits. The focus was again on the fact that Plaintiffs leukemia was in remission and ignored all of her well documented back pain.

Legal Basis For Lawsuit Against Standard Insurance Filed By Disability Lawyer

In the case of Donna Lee Seitz vs. The Standard Insurance Company filed at the District Court for the District Of New Jersey by a disability attorney, the plaintiff alleged that The Standard Insurance Company (Standard Insurance) arbitrarily and capriciously terminated her long term disability by ignoring all of her well documented back pain.

The plaintiff argued that Standard Insurance’s final decision on August 16th 2010 denying her appeal was arbitrary and capricious because:

Relief Sought by the Plaintiff

The plaintiff is seeking from the Court the following relief:

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Do you help Standard claimants nationwide?

We represent Standard 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 Standard disability insurance policy?

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

How do you help Standard claimants?

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

  • 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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Cesar was wonderful. I was given three different attorney firms by someone (I can’t even remember the other ones) but he was the second call I made and stopped there. Both Cesar and his legal assistant were so kind and helpful. Any time he called me for information or with a status of my case he was so sensitive to my needs/issues. He was honest and up front and very fair.

Cesar fought for my settlement and ended up getting me more than I had even asked for. He is 1st class. I hope I never need his services again, but if I do I sure won’t hesitate to call him personally. He gives attorneys a good name.

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