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UNUM Life Insurance Company of America sued by resident of Carroll County, Arkansas for denying disability benefits under ERISA plan

An action was filed recently at the District Court for the Western District of Arkansas by a resident of Carroll County, Arkansas through her Arkansas disability attorney against the UNUM Life Insurance Company of America (UNUM) for their failure to pay disability benefits under a group long term disability insurance plan issued by UNUM.

The Nature of the Complaint

The plaintiff Sheila McFadden was an employee at the Sisters of Mercy Health System. During the plaintiff’s tenure of employment, UNUM had issued and delivered a group long term disability insurance plan with the policy number 597457001 to the Sisters of Mercy Health System. In the complaint, the plaintiff stated because she was employed at all material times concerned for the purpose of this action, she was covered under the group long term disability insurance plan.

On August 11th 2008, the plaintiff filed a claim for disability benefits under the plan to UNUM. UNUM responded to the plaintiff’s claim in a letter dated May 27th 2009 denying the plaintiff’s claim for disability benefits. Subsequently, in accordance with the procedures under the plan, the plaintiff appealed on July 31st 2009 against UNUM’s decision to deny her claim for disability benefits. As a result of that appeal, UNUM informed the plaintiff in a letter dated December 3rd 2009 that after review of the plaintiff’s appeal against UNUM’s initial decision to deny her claim for disability benefits, their denial benefits to her will still stand. It was also contended in the action against UNUM that with the receipt of the letter dated December 3rd 2009 from UNUM, the plaintiff had exhausted all her administrative remedies under the plan.

The Claim for Relief under the Legal Action against UNUM

Consequently as result of exhausting all her ERISA administrative remedies under the plan and because the plaintiff is and continues to be disabled as defined under the plan, the plaintiff is seeking redress from the Court to:

  • Award her past disability benefits from May 27th 2009 and those disability benefits which she is entitled to in the future under the plan
  • A 12% penalty against UNUM
  • Reinstatement of her life, medical and dental insurance
  • Award her reasonable attorney fees
  • Award her pre-judgment interest and other costs to which she is entitled to in accordance with the Arkansas Statutes.


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