The Standard Disability Insurance Company loses motion to prevent Attorneys Dell & Schaefer from deposing six of the Standard’s employees

During the week of July 13, 2009, Attorney Gregory Dell spent several days in Portland, Oregon deposing multiple employees of The Standard Disability Insurance Company. Prior to taking the depositions, The Standard refused to make their employees available for deposition and instructed their attorney to file a motion preventing Attorney Gregory Dell from taking the depositions. The court received multiple motions and entered an opinion stating that our client has the right to take the depositions and The Standard must produce their witnesses. The Standard’s motion for attorney fees against our client was denied. It is obvious that the Standard did not want their claims handling practices exposed through deposition testimony.

Attorneys Gregory Dell and Cesar Gavidia filed a lawsuit in Federal Court, after The Standard denied our client long-term disability benefits. Our client, an invasive cardiologist, has been unable to work in his occupation as result of neck, back and shoulder problems. Our client purchased his long-term disability policy as a benefit offered through his membership in the Southern Medical Association. Our client has been unable to perform the duties of an invasive cardiologist due to the requirement that her wear a heavy lead apron during most of the cardiac surgeries he performs on patients. Our client’s claim is supported by his treating neurologist.

The Standard relies on the paper review of our client’s file by two neurologist in order to deny disability benefits. Moreover, while reviewing the claim, the Standard never bothered to take into consideration what percentage of our client’s occupational duties required him to wear a lead apron. During the recent depositions of The Standard employees, none of the employees had any idea how much a lead apron weighs, how long our client would need to wear the lead apron during a procedure, or specifics about the procedures that an invasive cardiologist performs. The Standard was of the opinion that our client should have no restrictions and limitations, and that the only reason he gave up his career as an invasive cardiologist was so that he could work as a chief medical officer for a medical tool manufacturer.

It is interesting to note that our client had a long-term disability policy with Unum Provident and the definition of disability during the first two year of benefits was almost identical to the definition of disability in the The Standard long-term disability policy. Unum Provident evaluated our client’s claim and determined that he was unable to perform his duties as an invasive cardiologist. Furthermore, Unum Provident’s outside neurologist reviewed our client’s medical records and opined that our client should not wear a lead apron and therefore would be prevented from working as an invasive cardiologist. During deposition of the Standard employees, they did not have any explanation as to how Unum Provident’s doctor could find that our client had restrictions and limitations, but The Standard’s doctors found that our client was perfectly healthy.

The Standard recently filed a Motion for Summary Judgment and basically alleged every possible defense they could think of, in hopes that something would stick. Attorneys Gregory Dell and Cesar Gavidia believe that the motion filed by the Standard is a desperate attempt to further their denial of long-term disability benefits. A response to the motion for Summary Judgment is currently being drafted and the jury trial is set for October 2009 in Federal Court.

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We represent Standard 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 Standard disability insurance policy?

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

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Our lawyers help individuals that have either purchased a Standard long term disability insurance policy from an insurance company or obtained short or long term disability insurance coverage as a benefit from their employer.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Reviews   *****

Maria K.

It was a great experience I had with the whole team. Whoever I worked with through out the whole process was very responsive, detail and time sensitive. The cost arrangement was discussed up front so I knew exactly what my cost would be. My case was discussed in person, all the documentation I had available, I provided. Some specific statements were requested of me, friends and family. It was reviewed by Dell & Schaefer and it was determined that I had a strong case.

The appeal was submitted before the deadline and I had a copy of it to review. I was very pleased of the whole content of the submission. I read all the strong points of the appeal and I knew at that point that it was a very strong appeal case and one way or another Dell & Schaefer would win the case. It was a matter of principal for me and I feel that I got my point across to my employer. I could’ve waited to go through a trial but I did not because I really did not want to have this issue hanging over me any longer so agreed to settle my case.

They are very detailed, responsive, up-front, they tell you if you have a strong case, tell you the angle that they’ll use to go after your case, get all the appropriate documentation so as to back-up everything they say, they are time sensitive and keep you updated as time goes by. They are a great team! I had my concerns at first because they are not local but they gave me all the time I needed to have any discussions and ask any questions.

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