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Standard Insurance Company’s attempt to dismiss disability insurance lawsuit is denied in-part by Florida Federal Judge

Disability claimant challenges Standard Insurance Company’s attempt to limit disability benefits to 24 months under the “Other Limited Conditions” provision.

Very often, disability insurance companies are being sued due to wrongful denial of claims or wrongful termination of disability benefits. There are occasions where a court will dismiss a disability claimant’s lawsuit if it is premature or not ripe. Insurance companies will routinely file motions to dismiss in an effort to either delay a decision on the merits or to win the case without the court considering the merits. Motions to dismiss are rarely granted. For motions to dismiss, the courts have to view the complaint in a manner that is most favorable to the plaintiff.

The federal rules governing civil proceedings don’t require a detailed plea from the plaintiff to base his or her claim on. Only a short statement as to the plea is needed to give the opposing party a fair notice of what the claim is and the ground upon which it rests. Nevertheless, the plaintiff is still required to allege “more than labels and conclusions”¦” and raises “”¦ [the plaintiff’s] right to relief above the speculative level.” The case of Brain S. Hayse vs. Standard Insurance Company is a good example of how the Courts implement the above mentioned rule.

The Background Of The Case Against Standard Insurance Filed by Disability Attorney

The plaintiff in this case enrolled in a long term disability policy that was issued by the Standard Insurance Company (Standard Co). On November 2008, after suffering a disabling injury, the plaintiff was awarded long term disability benefits by Standard Co. On October 27th 2010, Standard Insurance informed the plaintiff that his disability benefits would end on September 27th 2011 as they were limited to 24 months. The plaintiff then, filed a lawsuit against Standard Co claiming an anticipatory breach of contract and Declaratory Relief. In response, Standard Insurance filed a motion to dismiss both claims made by the plaintiff.

The District Court Rulings

The District Court in its ruling granted Standard Insurance the motion to dismiss the anticipatory breach of contract claim and denied the motion to dismiss Declaratory Relief for the following reasons below:

Claim of Anticipatory Breach of Contract is Dismissed by Court as it is not Ripe

The District Court ruled that the plaintiff is still receiving disability benefits from Standard Co until September 27th 2011 if the plaintiff remains disabled. Standard Co did not indicate that it wanted to repudiate the plaintiff’s policy but rather recognized that the plaintiff could become disabled due to a different condition in the plaintiff’s policy. In other words, the plaintiff has not shown that he had suffered damages due to Standard’s notification of the expiry of his benefits. Hence, the plaintiff’s claim for the anticipatory breach of contract must be dismissed.

Claim for Declaratory Relief Is not Dismissed and the Case will Continue Against Standard Insurance Company

The plaintiff’s other claim revolves around the issue as to whether he is subjected to the “Other Limited Conditions” classification contained in the Plan. Standard Co asserted that there is no actual present need for a declaration of the plaintiff’s future rights to benefits. The court recognized that Declaratory Judgments are “a valuable procedure for the resolution of insurance coverage dispute to the benefits of insurers, insured and claimants.”

The District Court ruled that before any claim for Declaratory Relief be entertained; it must be clearly shown that there is an actual need for the Declaratory Relief. In this case, the Plaintiff alleged that he is not subject to the “Other Limited Conditions” classification within the policy. And because Standard Co has already classified Plaintiff’s disability under the policy and the plaintiff disputed this classification, there is an actual, present controversy between the parties. The court ruled that resolving this dispute will determine the rights of both parties under the policy. As such, the Plaintiff is entitled to a declaratory judgment regarding his long term disability rights.

This case will continue and the court will eventually make a ruling on the declaratory judgment. Standard insurance company is represented by an experienced and well skilled defense attorney that our law firm has faced on numerous occasions.

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Questions About Hiring Us

Do you help Standard claimants nationwide?

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.

How do you help Standard claimants?

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.

Our experienced lawyers can assist with Standard:

  • 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.

Dell & Schaefer Client Reviews   *****

Jeff S. (Kansas)

Due to my vision and health issues testimonials are not typical of me. Dell & Schaefer however did such a sensational, and professional job we felt it absolutely necessary to share the experience.

I had been thinking of pursuing a lump settlement on long term disability with the insurance company for some time. Decided on Dell & Schaefer after much research on several firms across the country. Residing in the Midwest did cause some reservations about choosing a firm around 1500 miles away. However shortly after choosing Dell & Schaefer my concerns where quickly put to rest by how proficient the team is, and how they are always there with you. Never waited for a response and always felt like we knew exactly what was going on every step of the way.

I got the pleasure of working with Mr. Stephen Jessup Esquire, along with Sonia R. Nogueira, and team on my case. After contemplating my situation Steve was contacted to let him know it would be about three months before moving forward. I mention this because no pressure was ever felt to pursue or take a settlement and the firm awaited me to contact them again. No annoying emails, calls, letters, or any type of pressure to hire them. When questions arose the team was right there for me through the entire process and only a phone call or email away. Never had to wait for a response before or after retention. Mr. Jessup at one point during my case was out of country and still offered guidance when needed, almost immediately after emailing. Sonia also went above and beyond and took my call around six P.M. on a Friday to help me with some document questions. Simply an incredible level of service that seems rare anymore. I always felt truly comfortable!

Mr Jessup and everyone with the firm seemed to have a very good rapport with the insurance company. I mention this because within about two weeks of retention we had the first offer. Within less than four weeks we had reached a settlement agreement, and funds where in my account about two hassle free weeks later. This all transpired even with delays of the insurance rep taking vacation twice. Overall my settlement expectations where far exceeded. During the original consultation Mr. Jessup mentioned a monetary figure that was lower than the actual final settlement. There where no false promises or over inflated estimates as sometimes found elsewhere. Just an upfront honest answer of what could be to come. During the process I still received my monthly benefit and never had to deal with the insurance company directly. This in itself took so much stress out of my life. After three years I no longer had to continually jump through hoops when the insurance company requested something or worry that I might undeservedly lose benefits.

The above is just a small part of my experience on how I felt the professional and courteous team was always willing to go the extra mile. If you or someone you might be concerned about are in need of guidance my opinion is a better choice could not be made than contacting the team at Dell & Schaefer about options.

Because of the work done by those at Dell & Schaefer I now have the funds to live while attempting medical procedures that insurance will not cover. Hopefully because of this someday I can return to a career as I’m still almost twenty years from retirement age.

Thank you all at the firm again for returning some normalcy to my life and treating me like a person not a case!

***** 5 stars based on 202 reviews

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