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Beware: MetLife Disability Insurance Policy Only Provides Three Years to File An ERISA Lawsuit

Attorney Gregory DellAuthor: Attorney Gregory Dell

In a recent long term disability case out of the Puerto Rico United States Federal District Court, a long term disability claimant’s ERISA lawsuit was dismissed when the court ruled that MetLife’s three year period to file a lawsuit following a claim denial is enforceable. In the case of Santana-Diaz v. Metropolitan Life Insurance Company, which was not handled by our law firm, the claimant argued that the disability denial letter did not warn him about the deadline to file a lawsuit so he was not aware of the limited time period. The Puerto Rico court held that the disability denial letter did not need to contain any notification of the period to file a lawsuit. According to nationwide disability attorney Gregory Dell, “Not every long term disability policy contains a limited time period to file a lawsuit, but if a claimant has their benefits denied they should take immediate action to file an ERISA long term disability lawsuit.” In rare circumstances, if a claimant can demonstrate EXTRAORDINARY CIRCUMSTANCES for failing to file a lawsuit within the policy timeframes, then the court has the power to toll the time period and allow the lawsuit to move forward. If the policy does not specify a time period to file a lawsuit, then the policy may state the law of a specific state which will govern, the law of the state where the breach occurred, or the law of the state where the policy was delivered. It is not always clear which states law applies to a specific long term disability claim. The facts and circumstances of every disability insurance case are different.

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