Oregon Court Orders Standard to Pay Plaintiff Prejudgment Interest

The current case of Robertson v. Standard Life Insurance Company concerns the proper calculation of prejudgment interest based on the court’s previous ruling that Standard had abused its discretion in terminating plaintiff’s long term disability benefits. The original order was based on Standard’s denial of benefits under the “own occupation” definition of disability under its policy. To date, Standard has made no decision on whether the plaintiff is disabled from working at “any occupation.” The court ordered “retroactive reinstatement of Plaintiff’s Own Occupation benefits from the time they were terminated to the time that they would have expired.” It remanded to Standard to consider her claim that she was disabled from “any occupation.”

Original Order Reinstating Benefits

In the earlier substantive case, the court found in favor of the plaintiff, a cytogenetic technologist, who suffered from chronic neck and back pain despite multiple medical treatments and surgical intervention. The court found numerous flaws in Standard’s reasoning for its denial and, instead of remanding, ordered benefits to be reinstated. The court also ordered the plaintiff to “prepare an appropriate Judgment consistent with this Opinion and, after conferring with Defendant, shall submit it to the Court for signature…”. The parties disagreed on how the judgment should be worded which led to the court subsequently clarifying its original order.

District Court Clarification of Original Order

The plaintiff interpreted the court’s original order as reinstating her benefits under any definition of disability. Standard argued that it had not determined whether or not she was disabled from “any occupation” and the only issue in the previous case had been her disability from working at her “own occupation.” The court agreed with Standard. Relying on Ninth Circuit precedent, the Oregon court noted that “when a plan administrator abuses its discretion by terminating disability benefits under a specific disability standard, the reviewing court may only reinstate those benefits under the same standard.”

In fashioning its order for prejudgment interest, the court reiterated its original opinion that Standard “fell far short in fulfilling its fiduciary duty to plaintiff” and acted in “bad faith.” The court ordered prejudgment interest for the appropriate length of time according to the provisions of 28 U.S.C. § 1961 which is based on the current T-Bill rate. The court also commented that, “Plaintiff may seek her attorney’s fees and costs in accordance with the Federal Rules and Local Rules of Civil Procedure.” It remanded the case to Standard for administrative determination of plaintiff’s claim that she was disabled from “Any Occupation.”

This case was not handled by our office, but it may provide claimants guidance in the calculation of prejudgment interest when ordered by a court. If you need assistance with a similar matter, or have any questions concerning a disability claim, please contact any of our lawyers for a free consultation.

Leave a comment or ask us a question

Questions About Hiring Us

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.

Dell & Schaefer Client Reviews   *****

Robert Z. (Idaho)

Awesome, super quick email response to my initial request, followed up by a phone call from the attorney to discuss details of my claim, all in the same day, and all free of charge.

***** 5 stars based on 202 reviews

Speak With An Attorney Now

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