Three different lawsuits were recently filed under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) against the Prudential Insurance Company of America in Federal Courts by attorneys in Kansas, Oklahoma, and Pennsylvania for failing to pay disability benefits.
The First Case
The plaintiff through a disability attorney filed a lawsuit in the United States District Court of Kansas. The plaintiff participated in a disability insurance plan provided by Prudential, who was the plan administrator for the long-term disability insurance plan.
Plaintiff incurred a work-related injury and developed Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS), usually referred to as Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy Syndrome (RSD), which caused Plaintiff’s current disability. The plaintiff applied for long-term disability benefits and received them for 24 months.
On May 10, 2010, Prudential wrongly terminated Plaintiff’s long-term benefits, as the Plaintiff has shown throughout this ordeal that she has continually received treatment for CRPS by physicians at the Pain Management Associates of Kansas City, Missouri. Prudential’s physician, Dr. Hemal V. Mehta, came to the same conclusion as the Plaintiff’s physicians that gainful employment would be very unlikely due to her condition.
Prudential had a Vocational Rehab Expert review Plaintiff’s file to identify possible employment opportunities, which were identified to the Plaintiff in a letter dated April 21, 2011, though Plaintiff’s physicians disagree with this suggestion. Plaintiff alleges that Prudential improperly terminated the disability benefits to which the Plaintiff was entitled under the terms of the Plan.
The Second Case
This lawsuit was filed at the United States District Court for the Northern District of Oklahoma by a disability lawyer. The Plaintiff in this case was employed as a General Technician for IC Bus, L.L.C. a/k/a IC of Oklahoma (“IC Bus”). She was provided with an LTD coverage plan that was fully insured by Prudential. At the same time, Prudential was also the Claims Administrator for the plan. In this case, it was alleged that Prudential in denying the plaintiff’s claim for LTD benefits was based on incorrect, unreasonable, and arbitrary and capricious findings and reasoning.
The Third Case
The final case was filed by a disability attorney at the District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania. In this case it was alleged that Prudential’s decision to rely on the sole opinion of their medical expert that the Plaintiff could still work despite her fibromyalgia and other debilitating conditions to deny the plaintiff’s claim for LTD benefits was arbitrary, capricious, in bad faith and was in violation of the provisions of ERISA.
Relief Sought in the Lawsuits
In all of the above mentioned cases, the relief sought by the plaintiffs from Prudential in their lawsuits comprises of:
- A ruling that the plaintiffs are entitled to the LTD benefits under their respective plans
- All benefits that have not been paid to be paid, along with interest
- An award of attorney’s fees and costs
- Any other relief that the court deems proper and appropriate