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South Carolina disability attorneys sue Liberty Mutual three times in one week for denial of disability insurance benefits

Liberty Mutual finds itself back in court having to prove to a judge the validity of their reasons for denying yet another long-term disability insurance benefit claim. This time it isn’t just one lawsuit filed by a disability attorney on behalf of one plaintiff. As a matter of fact, the same disability attorney filed three separate Federal lawsuits against Liberty Mutual on behalf of three individual plaintiffs living in different jurisdictions.

A disability attorney recently filed a civil complaint on behalf of three individual plaintiffs against Liberty Life Assurance Company of Boston (Liberty Mutual) due to Liberty Mutual denying long-term disability benefits to Cynthia Judd, Victoria Carraway, and Sherry Watson. All three cases were filed in United States District Court for the District of South Carolina, but in different divisions – the Greenwood Division for Ms. Watson; the Greenville Division for Ms. Judd; the Florence Division for Ms. Carraway.

In what seems to be a recurring theme, the disability attorney representing Carraway, Judd, and Watson alleges that a conflict of interest exists since Liberty Mutual acts as the fiduciary, insurer, and claim administrator for the long-term disability insurance policies held by each respective plaintiff. With that being the case, such a conflict makes it easy for Liberty Mutual to be in the position of denying a disability insurance claim.

The South Carolina disability lawyer for the three women also contends that Liberty Mutual failed to acknowledge, and thus ignored, evidence that was relative to each of the plaintiffs’ original claims for disability insurance benefits. The disability attorney from South Carolina continues by saying that the opinions rendered by Liberty Mutual were biased and flawed, and “not based upon substantial evidence or the result of a principled and reasoned decision-making process.” It is alleged that Liberty Mutual acted arbitrarily and capriciously when they rendered their decision to deny Carraway, Judd, and Watson their disability insurance benefits.

The South Carolina disability attorney for Carraway, Judd, and Watson asks the court to take in to consideration case law regarding an appeal made by Lisa Champion against Black & Decker Inc. before the Fourth Circuit of Appeals in 2008. Although Ms. Champion lost her appeal, the Fourth Circuit recognized there are certain factors that must be considered when it comes to paying benefit claims. Such recognition is based upon a Supreme Court ruling from 2008 (Metropolitan Life Insurance Company v. Glenn) which clarified determining whether a conflict of interest exists within an insurance company. During litigation, an experienced disability attorney will conduct discovery in order to determine the extent of Liberty Mutual’s structural conflict of interest. Keep in mind that each case has its own unique characteristics and the outcome for each case could produce different results than the other two cases.

Carraway, Judd, and Watson are asking the court for judgment against Liberty Mutual in order to receive unnamed sums of money for disability insurance benefit payments, attorneys fees, and other relief the court deems fit. The disability attorney for the three ladies will establish the appropriate sums of money to which his clients are entitled

Of course, Liberty Mutual will do its best to demonstrate that they acted in good faith in each of the three cases when they denied disability insurance benefits to Carraway, Judd, and Watson.

Comments (2)

  • George,

    It is important that you submit as much medical and occupational information as possible with your appeal. You must submit your appeal timely. You should have your treating doctor submit a statement in response to Liberty Mutual’s medical review. If you would like assistance with your appeal or if your appeal is denied, please contact us to discuss your options.

    Gregory Dell Mar 24, 2012  #2

  • I have been denied long term disability by Liberty Mutual. I work at Home Depot and started having extreme lower back pains as of December 2011 and out of work since. I collected short term New Jersey disability from Dec. 2011 to May 2012 – 6 months, which is the max. I am sending in another letter disputing the denial. On the basis that the only case they have for a denial is based on a commendation from MCMC (customer base to MCMC referral services division) paid by Liberty Mutual, for that service. I have been through surgery and treatment since December 2011. At this point I can hardly walk, can’t stand without support. I retired from another job and wanted to work to pay-off loans.

    George J. Roessner Mar 24, 2012  #1

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Questions About Hiring Us

Do you help Liberty Mutual claimants nationwide?

We represent Liberty Mutual 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 Liberty Mutual disability insurance policy?

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

How do you help Liberty Mutual claimants?

Our lawyers help individuals that have either purchased a Liberty Mutual 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 Liberty Mutual:

  • 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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My experience of dealing with The Hartford for my company LTD benefit was a nightmare from the start. Our company chose an “any occupation” clause from day 1 of disability leaving the door open to almost automatic decline. Of course, that is what happened.

I researched on the internet for days for a firm that knew ERISA Disability Laws and specialized in them. After an email to Dell & Schaefer, I received a call from an attorney named Victor the same day. After I described my occupation, he said “We have another attorney that I work with here who has helped many others in your occupation and I think he is better prepared than I to get you this benefit”. He about blew me away-sending business AWAY for MY sake? I knew, right then, that my choice of Dell & Schaefer was the correct one.

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