Two Yellow Book employees sue Liberty Life Assurance Company of Boston for failing to pay ERISA disability benefits

Two different lawsuits were recently filed in California and Alabama Federal Court under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) against the Liberty Life Assurance Company of Boston. In both cases, it is alleged that Liberty improperly denied both plaintiffs their claims for long-term disability (LTD) benefits.

The California Liberty Case

In Cindy P. Vs Liberty Life, the plaintiff through a disability attorney filed a lawsuit in the District Court for the Central District of California. The plaintiff was employed as an account representative by Yellow Book USA, Inc., which established and maintained the employee welfare benefit plan that the Plaintiff participated in. This occupation required the ability to sell yellow page and Internet advertising to businesses, as well as prepare accounts documents and collect on past due accounts

As of October 30, 2009, Plaintiff was unable to continue her duties as account representative due to her declining health. She consulted with a doctor on or about October 23, 2009 about her increasing health problems, leading to a diagnosis of suffering from “insomnia, severe psychomotor retardation, anhedonia, and irregular periods.” A further diagnosis on or about October 30, 2009 led to a further diagnosis of “depression, insomnia, irregular periods, work-related stress, left neck discomfort, and ongoing low back disability.”

Cervical and Lumbar MRIs were performed in early November, leading to diagnoses of disc protrusions, disc bulging, and moderate degenerative disc disease. Subsequent follow-ups showed continuing pain from these conditions, and eventually, the presence of degenerative arthritis and mild sclerosis in Plaintiff’s right foot.

In June 2010, Plaintiff consulted with a second physician who confirmed disease being present in both the cervical spine and the lumbar spine.

On or about August 20, 2010, Liberty denied Plaintiff’s claim for Short-Term Disability benefits beyond December 17, 2009. Plaintiff underwent three steroid injections between October and November 2010, then requested an appeal review on or about December 13, 2010. Plaintiff also returned to her physicians for injections into the cervical and lumbar spine in order to avoid invasive back surgery on or about February 9, 2011.

On or about April 5, 2011, Liberty again denied Plaintiff’s appeal of both short- and long-term disability benefits. Plaintiff filed her lawsuit claiming that Liberty had capriciously denied her claim to ERISA benefits.

The Alabama Liberty Case

In Lori C. Vs Liberty Life, the lawsuit was filed at the Northern District Court of Alabama Middle District by an Alabama disability attorney. The plaintiff in this case was an employee for Yellow Book USA, Inc. (Yellow Book), who was the sponsor of an ERISA Disability Plan, under which the Plaintiff was covered due to her employment at Yellow Book. Plaintiff became disabled on or about February 16, 2009, preventing her from fulfilling her duties as an account representative. Plaintiff applied for disability benefits and began receiving payments on August 16, 2009, but on April 9, 2010, Liberty improperly found that Plaintiff no longer met the Plan definition of disability and ceased making her long-term disability benefit payments. Despite numerous letters from her therapist and treating physician, as well as a favorable decision from the Social Security Administration, Liberty denied all appeals and issued a final denial letter on June 30, 2010. The Plaintiff’s lawsuit claims that Liberty acted in their own pecuniary interests in denying Plaintiff’s claim to long-term ERISA disability benefits.

Relief Sought in the Lawsuits

In both of the aforementioned cases, Plaintiffs seek the following relief:

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Do you help Liberty Mutual claimants nationwide?

We represent Liberty Mutual 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 Liberty Mutual disability insurance policy?

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

How do you help Liberty Mutual claimants?

Our lawyers help individuals that have either purchased a Liberty Mutual 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 Liberty Mutual:

  • 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.

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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.

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Jane F.

When I called Dell & Schaefer I felt hopeless. When I called, a phone conference was immediately set with an attorney, Rachel Alters. The attorney listened carefully to my story, and my concerns. She was thoughtful even as I had difficulty holding back my tears and maintaining my composure. I sent several documents via e-mail and fax and she returned my call within a very reasonable amount of time. I was so grateful when she agreed to take the case.

The attorney had an assistant that was also helpful. I felt very well advised and confident that Dell & Schaefer and my attorney were on my side. I was also relieved to know that once I sent the information to the firm that my work, such as reviewing and completing paper work, or calling doctors for further documents, was mostly finished. They took the reigns. I didn’t have to try and keep fighting all by myself. I was already exhausted by my disability and the legal fight was making my life even more miserable. After what seemed like a long time, although only six short months, Rachel called to tell me that she had a settlement offer from the insurance company that had denied any benefits to me for over 2 years. Rachel and each staff member treated me with respect and understanding. I am very grateful for their help and so grateful that a firm exists that can fight against these big insurance companies and win.

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