One Year Period to File Lawsuit Following Liberty Life Insurance Denial is Valid

In Webb v. Liberty Life Assurance Company of Boston, Ronald Webb, an employee of Adobe Systems Incorporated, took out several life insurance policies:

· A basic life insurance policy for $250,000.
· An optional life insurance policy for $1 million.
· A basic accidental death insurance policy for $250,000.
· An optional accidental death insurance policy for $1 million.

The policies went into effect on May 11, 2012. On December 27, 2013, Mr. Webb died of a self-inflicted gunshot to his head which the coroner ruled was a suicide. Mrs. Webb attempted to collect on the policies and provided Liberty Life with her husband’s death certificate on January 24, 2014.

On January 27, 2014, Liberty Life informed Mrs. Webb that it would pay basic life insurance benefits and included a check for those benefits plus interest. In that same letter, Liberty Life informed Mrs. Webb that it would not pay for optional benefits due to a suicide exclusion in the policy. Mrs. Webb requested a review of the decision to deny benefits. That review also resulted in a denial of optional benefits. She then filed this ERISA lawsuit on June 12, 2015.

Contractual Time Limitations Are Valid

The language of the Liberty Life policy specifically required a lawsuit to be filed within one year “after the time the Proof of claim is required.” Liberty also required a proof of loss to be submitted 30 days after the loss, a requirement with which Mrs. Webb complied. The court interpreted the policy language to mean that a lawsuit had to be filed one year plus 30 days after the loss. Since Mr. Webb died on December 27, 2013, one year plus 30 days meant the lawsuit had to be filed by January 27, 2015.

Mrs. Webb did not file her lawsuit until June 12, 2015, almost five months after the contractual deadline. Relying on precedent, the Georgia court held that, since the lawsuit was “not filed within the contractual limitations period. The Court finds no reason not to enforce the limitations period as written.”

This case was not handled by our office, but we thought it could be instructive for those who have been denied life insurance or accidental death benefits and need to file an ERISA lawsuit. For help with a similar matter, contact one of our attorneys for a free consultation.

Videos, Questions, Resolved Cases, Lawsuit Summaries & Company Reviews

disability insurance companies complaints

Leave a comment or ask us a question


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, 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.

Dell & Schaefer Client Reviews   *****

Alan M.

My experience working with Dell & Schaefer has been excellent. Almost immediately, my disability payments were restored while more tests are performed and records gathered. My case is well represented now, and I am confident that my claim will continue to be approved. Having the right lawyer has allowed me to focus on my health and getting well.

Read 432 reviews

Speak With An Attorney Now

Request a free legal consultation: Call 800-682-8331 or Email Us