Employees of Staples & Nortel Networks among Four Plaintiffs To Sue Prudential For Wrongful Denial Of Long-Term Disability Benefits

The Prudential Insurance Company of America (Prudential) had four different lawsuits filed against it by four Plaintiffs in the District Courts of South Carolina (2 cases), New York, and West Virginia. In all four cases filed via the respective Plaintiffs’ disability lawyers, Prudential is accused of wrongfully denying or terminating the Plaintiffs’ claims for long-term disability benefits as promised under their respective plans and by ERISA.

The First South Carolina Case

In Daniel J. v. Prudential Insurance Company of America, Plaintiff was employed with Staples until 2002. This employment allowed the Plaintiff to receive long-term disability benefits via a plan that was fully insured by Prudential. Plaintiff became disabled due to certain problems from which he suffered, forcing him to cease working.

The Plaintiff filed a disability application for long-term disability benefits as defined by the terms of the Plan, but Prudential denied his claim. Plaintiff filed an administrative appeal, requesting the specific information that led to Prudential’s initial denial. Prudential never responded to this request, nor to the two subsequent requests made by the Plaintiff for this information. Due to Prudential not responding to any requests, Plaintiff had no choice but to file this lawsuit against Prudential.

The Second South Carolina Case

In Harold G. v. Prudential Insurance Company of America, Plaintiff was employed by Agrifos Fertilizer, Inc. This employment enabled Plaintiff to be provided with long-term disability coverage via a plan that was fully insured by Prudential. Plaintiff became disabled due to certain problems, leading to his inability to work and filing a claim for long-term disability benefits.

Prudential denied the Plaintiff’s claim. Plaintiff appealed the denial, but Prudential denied the appeal. Plaintiff has exhausted all administrative remedies and has filed this lawsuit against Prudential.

The New York Case

In Sharon G. v. The Prudential Life Insurance Company of America, the Plaintiff was employed by Nortel Networks, which provided its employees with long-term disability benefits via a plan that was originally funded by CIGNA Life Insurance Company. Prudential eventually became the entity that funded this plan.

Plaintiff became disabled in October 1993, leading to her filing a claim for long-term disability benefits. Prudential initially paid benefits from the time period of 26 weeks after the initial claim was filed (the “elimination period”) through October 31, 2009, but the claim was then terminated from October 31, 2009 to the present day.

Plaintiff filed an appeal of this termination, supplying evidence that her LTD benefits should continue. This included evidence of her suffering from fibromyalgia, SLE, Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, migraine headaches and cognitive limitations, which allowed the Plaintiff to receive Social Security Disability benefits from October 22, 1993 to the present day.

Despite this evidence, Prudential denied the appeal. Plaintiff has exhausted her administrative remedies and has filed this lawsuit against Prudential.

The West Virginia Case

In Terry L. v. The Prudential Insurance Company of America, American Electric Power System Long-Term Disability Plan (American Electric), and DOES 1 through 10, inclusive, Plaintiff was employed by American Electric, which made him eligible for disability benefits via the long-term disability plan that was funded by Prudential.

On or about May 16, 2009, Plaintiff became totally disabled and unable to continue working at American Electric. Plaintiff filed for long-term disability benefits, which Prudential initially granted through May 16, 2011. However, from May 17, 2011 to the present date, Prudential terminated further LTD benefits.

Plaintiff, along with his physician, filed a timely appeal of this denial. On or about March 8, 2011, Prudential informed Plaintiff that his appeal was denied. Plaintiff again appealed, and again, Prudential denied this appeal via letter dated October 11, 2011. Due to this denial being declared as the final denial, Plaintiff has exhausted his administrative remedies and has filed this lawsuit against Prudential.

Lawsuits Seek The Following Relief

In the four previously mentioned cases, Plaintiffs want the following relief to be granted by the Courts against Prudential:

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Amy W.

My disability claim had reached the 10 year “any occupation” point. The appointed insurance claims representation began calling and asking several questions and requiring that I answer, while indirectly threatening that my claim would be canceled if I did not answer immediately. It was very unkind and stressful to be threatened in this manner.

My claim was then set for cancellation after my medical records identified a temporary period of remission. They used one sentence of ten years of records that was based upon how I felt that day during that appointment. I contacted Dell & Schaefer and Attorney Gregory Dell responded to my e-mail within hours and on a Sunday. I was assigned to Rachel Alters. The insurance company asked me to do some pretty unsettling things, a physical capacity test that was being requested by LTD carrier to confirm their cancellation. Rachel was honest, direct and comprehensive while being timely and efficient. That is a hard find in any business to client relationship.

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