A Michigan disability attorney recently filed a federal ERISA lawsuit in the district court for the Eastern District of Michigan against Prudential Financial Inc. in order to recover short-term and long-term disability benefits that were wrongfully withheld by Prudential and TRW.
The Facts of the Case Against Prudential Insurance Company and TRW Automotive Holdings Corporation
Plaintiff is 60-years old and is a resident of the State of Michigan. She was employed by TRW Automotive Holdings Corporation as a Financial Analyst and was first hired on April 7, 1980. Plaintiff was covered according to the Prudential Short-Term Disability and Long-Term Disability policy terms provided by TRW to its employees.
Plaintiff has been dealing with high blood pressure for past several years and type II diabetes recently.
On April 9, 2010, Plaintiff experiences an aggravation in her medical symptoms that caused her to seek immediate care from her treating physician. She was diagnosed with several acute symptoms, including a frequent shortness of breath and extreme fatigue.
Plaintiff was diagnosed with a moderate to severe LV dysfunction with an ejection fraction of 20%, possibly suggesting that she had suffered a heart attack.
Plaintiff had more testing and diagnoses, suffering from the same symptoms throughout April 2010. She was eventually diagnosed with congestive heart failure by a Board Certified Cardiologist and was told that she would no longer be able to perform the functions of her occupation as a financial analyst.
On April 28, 2010, her physician sent a letter to TRW to place the Plaintiff off of work for a period of 3 months. Plaintiff took leave that day and continued treatment throughout.
Plaintiff applied for STD benefits in May 2010.
On June 8, 2010, upon exhaustion of her leave, TRW stopped making compensation payments to the Plaintiff.
Denial of Prudential Disability Benefits Claim
On June 10, 2010, Prudential denied Plaintiff’s application for STD benefits.
On May 27, 2010, her physician reviewed Plaintiff’s unchanged medical condition and extended her leave to October 30, 2010.
On June 29, 2010, Plaintiff appealed Prudential’s decision to deny her Short-Term Disability.
On August 30, 2010, Prudential denied Plaintiff’s Appeal and upheld the decision to deny Plaintiff STD benefits.
On January 24, 2011, Plaintiff again sought to appeal Prudential’s decision to deny her STD benefits.
On March 11, 2011, Prudential again denies Plaintiff’s Appeal and upheld its decision to deny Plaintiff STD benefits.
Plaintiff continually provided medical records and evidence of her condition.
Plaintiff exhausted administrative steps under the Plan to obtain STD benefits.
Plaintiff is too ill to work and is permanently disabled due to her medical condition. Due to this, she was forced to “retire” and terminate her employment. She did this so that she would be eligible for retirement benefits and receive some financial revenue.
Plaintiff has been without a paycheck as of June 8, 2010.
Since Plaintiff was denied STD benefits, she would not be able to receive LTD benefits as defined by the Plan.
Lawyer Files Lawsuit Against Prudential And TRW
According to the lawsuit, the plaintiff alleged that Prudential and TRW caused the following damage to the plaintiff:
- Defendants have caused her to suffer $309,140.21 in lost income, calculated by adding her Short-Term Disability Benefit, Long-Term Disability Benefit, Loss of Retirement Pension, and the cost of the LTD premiums paid.
- Plaintiff has on-going damages.
- Plaintiff will experience more annual damage to the tune of $5,660.12 once she reaches age 70 until her death.
- Plaintiff had to sell home in the down market to purchase or rent a smaller dwelling due to a reduction in income that should not have taken place.
- Depletion of Plaintiff’s savings of around $49,000.
- On-going legal fees that are still being calculated.
Relief Sought By Plaintiff In Prudential And TRW Lawsuit
As a result of Prudential and TRW’s actions, Plaintiff seeks following relief from the Court:
- The calculated amount of lost income.
- Reasonable Attorney’s fee.
- Court costs.
- All other costs that the Court finds to be proper and just.