In Owens v. Liberty Life Assurance Company of Boston (Liberty Life), plaintiff Paulette Owens quit her job at Walmart when physical restrictions prevented her from working. This opinion does not provide a job description nor mention her specific disability other than saying she quit work when “physical restrictions and limitations” prevented her from working. She was granted long term disability benefits, but one year later, her benefits were terminated. She exhausted her administrative appeals and then filed this ERISA lawsuit.
Continue Reading Liberty Life Denies Long Term Disability Benefits to Walmart Employee in Kentucky

In an opinion issued on September 4, 2014 by the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, an Appeals Court upheld a District Court’s opinion that awarded Ms. Ashima James long term disability benefits. Despite Liberty Life’s two independent medical examinations and at least 4 “independent” file reviews, both Courts concluded that James produced a sufficient amount of evidence to qualify for disability benefits under the Policy.
Continue Reading Appeal Court Affirms District Court’s Ruling that Liberty Life Was Wrong in Denying a Disabled Woman’s Long Term Disability Benefits

An Illinois disability lawyer filed a federal lawsuit in Federal court against Liberty Life Assurance Company of Boston (Liberty) and Allstate Cafeteria Plan (Allstate). The Plaintiff, William B., was employed by Allstate as a Claim Senior Manager. Due to this employment, Plaintiff was eligible to receive short-term and long-term disability benefits under the Allstate STD Program, which was funded by Liberty.

In William B. Vs. Liberty Life Assurance Company Of Boston and Allstate Cafeteria Plan, Plaintiff seeks payment of wrongfully terminated long-term disability benefits by Liberty.

Case Facts Against Liberty and Allstate

Plaintiff worked as a Claim Senior Manager for Allstate until February 17, 2010 when he stopped working due to a combination of several psychiatric impairments. Before he stopped working, Plaintiff filed a claim for short-term disability benefits under the Allstate STD Program, which was approved by Liberty. Plaintiff began receiving STD benefits from February 25, 2010 to July 7, 2010.

Liberty informed Plaintiff via letter on August 4, 2010 that he was also eligible to receive long-term disability benefits as of July 8, 2010. From August 19, 2010 to May 2011, Plaintiff also received LTD benefits from a separate LTD policy he had purchased on his own.

Termination of Long-Term Disability Benefits By Liberty

On May 5, 2011, Plaintiff was notified by Liberty that he would no longer receive LTD benefits after May 12, 2011. This denial was made primarily due to the results of a file review performed by a non-examining physician.

On July 15, 2011, Plaintiff filed an appeal of this denial, supplying additional evidence that he was still participating in an extended treatment plan and that his doctor refused to grant permission to the Plaintiff to return to work based on his current condition. Despite this additional evidence, Liberty denied the Plaintiff’s appeal on September 9, 2011, again basing their decision on the file reviews conducted by non-examining physicians.

Due to the fact that all administrative remedies have been exhausted, Plaintiff has filed this lawsuit against Liberty and Allstate.

Disability Lawyer Files Lawsuit Against Liberty And Allstate

According to the lawsuit, the Plaintiff claims that Liberty committed the following wrongful actions against the Plaintiff:

  • Terminating the Plaintiff’s long-term disability benefits based on file reviews conducted by non-examining physicians
  • Failing to provide a full and fair review of the Plaintiff’s claim
  • Failing to fully consider the Plaintiff’s current medical condition, which is enough evidence for Prudential Insurance Company of America, payer of the Plaintiff’s other LTD policy, to provide LTD benefit payments to the Plaintiff
  • Causing the Plaintiff financial hardship due to the wrongful termination of LTD benefits

The Following Relief Is Sought By The Plaintiff Against Liberty And Allstate

Due to the actions of Liberty and Allstate, Plaintiff requests the following relief to be granted by the Court:

  • To pay all owed long-term disability benefits
  • To pay all prejudgment interest on owed LTD benefits at a rate of 9% per annum
  • To pay all future LTD benefits as long as the Plaintiff remains eligible to receive them according to the terms of the Plan
  • To pay all reasonable attorney’s fees
  • To pay all associated court costs
  • To pay all other relief that the Court deems proper and just

About the author: Gregory Michael Dell is an attorney and managing partner of the disability income division of Attorneys Dell & Schaefer. Mr. Dell and his team of lawyers have assisted thousands of long-term disability claimants with their claims against every major disability insurance company. To request a free legal consultation call 800-698-9162.

A Colorado disability attorney filed a federal lawsuit in the Federal court against Liberty Life Assurance Company of Boston (Liberty) and Estes Express Lines (Estes). The Plaintiff, David F., was employed by Estes as an over-the-road truck driver. Due to this employment, Plaintiff was covered by an employee welfare benefit plan that was sponsored by Estes and insured by Liberty.

In David F. Vs Liberty Life Assurance Company of Boston and Estes Express Lanes, Plaintiff seeks the reinstatement of short-term disability benefits and the payment of long-term disability benefits as defined by the Plan.

Case Facts Against Liberty and Estes

Plaintiff worked as an over-the-road truck driver for Estes’ facility in Colorado until he became disabled due to seizure disorder, vertigo and balance problems, severe neck and facial pain, poor concentration, and other ailments. These ailments caused the Plaintiff to cease working on approximately October 25, 2010.

On or around October 25, 2010, Plaintiff applied for short-term disability benefits, which were granted by Liberty under the "own occupation" definition of disability as described in the Plan. The STD benefits began to be paid out on October 30, 2010, though the amount received was miscalculated. Liberty informed Plaintiff via letter dated February 8, 2011 that the STD benefits would run through February 8, 2011.

Termination of Short-Term Disability Benefits By Liberty

Liberty informed Plaintiff via letter dated March 28, 2011 that the STD benefits would be terminated after February 8, 2011. Plaintiff filed an appeal letter on April 14, 2011, pointing out that his numerous ailments led to his commercial driving license being terminated by the U.S. Department of Transportation, thereby qualifying him to continue receiving STD benefits.

However, Liberty denied the appeal letter on May 2, 2011. Liberty also informed Plaintiff that all administrative appeals were exhausted and that the only other option was to file a civil lawsuit under ERISA.

Disability Attorney Files Lawsuit Against Liberty

The terms of the lawsuit state that Liberty failed to provide the following to the Plaintiff:

  • Performing its fiduciary duties under ERISA
  • Coherent, specific reasons why the Plaintiff’s claim was denied
  • Reasons why specific medical evidence provided by the Plaintiff as part of his case was ignored by Liberty

The terms of the lawsuit claim that Liberty committed the following wrongful acts against the Plaintiff:

Denying benefits based on "cherry-picking" portions of the Plaintiff’s medical record
Failure to perform other acts that constitute a full and fair review of the Plaintiff’s claim
Using a conflict of interest to wrongfully deny Plaintiff’s claim, as Liberty was both the decision-maker and payer of the claim and benefits under the Plan

Plaintiff Seeks The Following Relief From The Court

Due to Liberty’s actions against the Plaintiff, Plaintiff seeks the following relief from Liberty:

  • All Plan benefits from the date that his benefits were denied
  • Reinstatement of Plan benefits that remain as long as Plaintiff is eligible under the terms of the Plan
  • All prejudgment interest owed on unpaid benefits from the date they were stopped until the present date of this judgment
  • All reasonable attorney fees and court costs
  • All other relief that the Court deems fair and proper

About the author: Gregory Michael Dell is an attorney and managing partner of the disability income division of Attorneys Dell & Schaefer. Mr. Dell and his team of lawyers have assisted thousands of long-term disability claimants with their claims against every major disability insurance company. To request a free legal consultation call 800-411-9085.

Disability Blog & Cases:
Texas claimant takes Reliastar to task for denied disability benefits

Suffering from multiple medical conditions and unable to function in a daily job, a health care professional and her Texas disability lawyer filed a lawsuit against Reliastar Life Insurance Company to force the insurer to pay disability benefits as contracted in an employee welfare benefit plan.


Disability Blog & Cases:
Wells Fargo disability claimants in Alabama and Florida file lawsuits against Liberty Life Assurance Company of Boston for unpaid long term disability benefits

Wells Fargo disability claimants in Alabama and Florida file lawsuits against Liberty Life Assurance Company of Boston for unpaid long term disability benefits

Recently, two Wells Fargo employees were forced to file Federal Lawsuist against Liberty Life after being denied disability benefits. Utilizing the services of an Alabama Disability Attorney and a Florida Disability Lawyer, the two lawsuits are currently pending. Let’s take a closer look at both cases:


Disability Blog & Cases:
Tempur employee suffering from chronic fatigue syndrome sues Union Central Life for denial of disability benefits

A federal lawsuit was recently filed in the U.S. District Court in Pennsylvania against the Union Central Life Insurance Company (Union) by a Pennsylvania disability attorney. The Plaintiff, Janet G., worked as a Direct Sales Supervisor for Tempur World, Inc. (Tempur). Due to her employment at Tempur, Janet was provided long-term disability insurance with Union Central.

An Alabama Claimant and her Alabama disability attorney filed suit against Liberty Life Assurance in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Alabama Northeastern Division. A former DIRECTV Group, Inc. employee, Juarlesa W. worked as a customer service representative and was fully vested in her company’s Liberty Life Insurance Plan when she became disabled in January 2010.

Suffering from the "combined effects of several impairments, including cervical/lumbar degenerative disc disease, lumbar/cervical radiculitis, osteoarthritis, fibromyalgia, degenerative joint disease of the right shoulder, chronic pain syndrome, post-op knee arthropathy, hypertension, GERD, migraines, restless leg syndrome, and insomnia," Juarlesa W. and her disability attorney filed suit against the insurer on November 7, 2011 for denial of Juarlesa W.’s long term disability benefits.

Background of Alabama Claimant’s Suit against Liberty Life

Approved for her short term disability benefits by Liberty Life, Juarlesa W. has an issue with only the denial of her long term disability benefits. After her short-term disability benefits expired, Liberty life began paying Juarlesa W. her long-term disability payments, but arbitrarily decided to terminate those payments in September 2010. The insurer asked for further information from Juarlesa W.’ treating physician to further evaluate her disability claim. In response, Juarlesa W.’s treating physician submitted a letter in November 2010, confirming that Juarlesa W.’s condition remained the same, meaning the same as when Liberty Life approved Juarlesa W.’s disability claim and paid her disability benefits.

Ignoring Juarlesa W.’s physician’s opinion as well as the insurer’s own physician consultant, Liberty Life continues to stand by their opinion that Juarlesa W.’s is not disabled and denies her further disability benefits. According to the complaint filed by Juarlesa W.’s disability attorney, "Liberty Life redid its prior decision concluding that [Juarlesa W.] was no longer disabled for the very same reasons it previously approved her claim." In addition, the insurer has not provided any other evidence that would indicate that Juarlesa W. is not disabled. After appealing and losing all administrative challenges to Liberty Life’s decision to terminate her long term disability benefits, Juarlesa W. hired a disability attorney to litigate her claim in District Court.

Disability Attorney States Case against Liberty Life

Offering up Juarlesa W.’s lengthy medical history as well as the opinions of her treating physician and Liberty Life’s own evaluating physician, Juarlesa W.’s attorney claims that Liberty Life wrongfully terminated Juarlesa W.’s disability benefits in violation of the Employee Retirement Insurance Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) as well as in violation of Liberty Life’s own policies. Consequently, Juarlesa W. and her disability attorney ask the District Court to:

  • Review her disability benefits claim with Liberty Life;
  • Award her all past due long-term disability benefits to which she is entitled;
  • Reinstate Juarlesa W.’s claim to all present and future long-term disability benefits under her plan;
  • Award her attorney’s fees;
  • Award Juarlesa W. interest on all past due disability benefits; and
  • Further relief as is proper and just.

About the author: Gregory Michael Dell is an attorney and managing partner of the disability income division of Attorneys Dell & Schaefer. Mr. Dell and his team of lawyers have assisted thousands of long-term disability claimants with their claims against every major disability insurance company. To request a free legal consultation call 800-411-9085.

Wanda N. and her North Carolina disability attorney filed a lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina Western Division, claiming that Liberty Life wrongfully terminated Wanda N.’s long term disability benefits in violation of the Employee Retirement Insurance Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) and other federal statutes.

In the suit, Wanda N.’s disability attorney petitions the District Court to rule in favor of Wanda N. by:

  • Passing judgment against Liberty Life and obligating the insurer to pay Wanda N. her entitled disability income benefits from December 30, 2010 through the date of the judgment, plus pre-judgment interest;
  • Passing judgment against Liberty Life and obligating the insurer to fulfill its future obligations to pay Wanda N. her monthly disability income benefits as long as she is eligible to receive them under the terms of her policy;
  • Awarding Wanda N. attorney’s fees and court costs at the discretion of the court; and
  • Providing Wanda N. with any other "relief as the Court deems just and proper."

Claimant’s Disability Benefits are Terminated by Liberty Life in Violation of ERISA

As an employee at Kidde Aerospace & Defense, a subsidiary of United Technologies Corporation, Wanda N. was enrolled in her employer’s insurance policy benefit plan when she became disabled due to back pain in February of 2010. After receiving her short term disability benefits for six months and being approved for her long-term disability benefits in August 2010, Wanda N. discovered that her disability benefits would be terminated in December 2010. Apparently, the insurer concluded that Wanda N. was no longer disabled and believed that the previous evidence it had of Wanda N.’s disabled condition "no longer supported [Wanda N.’s] claim." On appeal of this decision, Wanda N. was denied.

Disability Attorney Presents Claimant’s Case in Their Complaint

A Floater at Kidde Aerospace, Wanda N. "performed various jobs when co-workers were absent from work or when additional workers were required for a particular job." Prior to her work stoppage, Wanda N. had a two-year history of "lower back pain radiating into her buttocks and legs, with numbness and tingling in her buttocks and thighs." Wanda N. underwent surgery in an effort to relief her back problem in March 2010, with some improvement of her condition, but no complete resolution. On various medication and attending to her healing process through physical therapy, Wanda N. received short-term disability benefits from Liberty life through August of 2010. Still recuperating, Wanda N. then applied for long term disability benefits, provided the insurer with her a completed Physical Job Evaluation Form, and Liberty Life approved her long term disability claim with plans to re-evaluate her situation in November 2010.

In November, a Liberty Life physician, in dispute with Wanda N.’s treating physician, determined that Wanda N. could perform light-duty work. Unfortunately, the Liberty life physician ignored Wanda N.’s medical records, which explicitly described how much pain Wanda N. was in and that her activity level potential was far short of the requirements of her position at Kidde Aerospace. In response Wanda N. "submitted a one-page appeal to Liberty Life in January 2011" and "advised Liberty Life that she could not sit up straight in a chair, could not sit for more than 15 minutes at a time without pain, could not stand for more than 10 minutes without pain, could not bend over, she laid down in the afternoons with a heating pad to help with the pain, she was currently on Zanaflex, Vicodin, Neurontin and Mobic, she was not allowed to drive a car due to the medication she was taking, and she remained under the care of" two doctors.

After another Liberty Life physician concluded that Wanda N. could work, Liberty Life again denied Wanda N.’s appeals resulting in Wanda N. hiring a disability lawyer to fight for her disability benefits in District Court. 

About the author: Gregory Michael Dell is an attorney and managing partner of the disability income division of Attorneys Dell & Schaefer. Mr. Dell and his team of lawyers have assisted thousands of long-term disability claimants with their claims against every major disability insurance company. To request a free legal consultation call 800-411-9085.

On November 10, 2011, Liberty Life Assurance Company of Boston claimant, Dana E., and his California disability lawyer filed a complaint against the insurer in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) and 29 USC § 1132(a)(1)(B) in an effort to force the insurer to release his entitled disability benefits.

Dana E., age 55, was a Senior Local Sales Account Executive for Comcast, when he ceased working in compliance with his doctor’s recommendation on July 25, 2009. At the time, Dana E. was suffering from fatigue, joint pain, skin lesions and photosensitivity caused by Lupus. Lupus, a chronic inflammatory disease, causes its victims immune system to attack healthy tissue that results in multiple debilitating symptoms.

Claimant and Disability Attorney File Complaint in California District Court after Denial of Disability Benefits on Appeal

As confirmed by his treating rheumatologists, Dana E. was disabled from performing the duties of his occupation in August 2009. Needing periodic rest due to fatigue and pain management, Dana E. became extremely limited in his daily activities and was unable to work the long hours of sitting at a desk that his Comcast position required. A Liberty life employee policy holder, Dana E. applied for longer term disability benefits, providing the insurer with sufficient medical corroboration of his disabled condition in addition to the recommendations from his treating physicians of his disabled condition. Dana E. received long term disability benefits until July 2011, at which time Liberty Life denied him further benefits. On appeal, the insurer continues to deny Dana E.’s claim, leading to the hiring by Dana E. of a disability lawyer to claim his entitled Liberty Life disability benefits.

Liberty Life Accused of Breach of Its Obligation to California Claimant

In the complaint, Dana E.’s disability lawyer alleges that Liberty life "breached its obligation under the long term disability plan by denying coverage for [Dana E.’s] disability payments" when he clearly meet s the requirements of eligibility. In the complaint, it is asserted that Liberty Life "arbitrarily and unreasonable relied on retained consultants” opinions as opposed to [Dana E.’s] own treating doctors" when deciding to discontinue Dana E.’s disability benefits. Forced to retain the services of a disability lawyer to protect his rights, Dana E. and his attorney petition the District Court to rule against Liberty Life and provide compensatory damages, costs of suit, reasonable attorney fees, prejudgment interest on all back benefits, and "such other and further relief as the court may deem proper." 

About the author: Gregory Michael Dell is an attorney and managing partner of the disability income division of Attorneys Dell & Schaefer. Mr. Dell and his team of lawyers have assisted thousands of long-term disability claimants with their claims against every major disability insurance company. To request a free legal consultation call 800-411-9085.

A California disability lawyer has recently filed a federal lawsuit in a district court in California against Liberty Life Assurance Company of Boston (Liberty Life). The Plaintiff, Kimberly S., worked as a registered nurse at the University of California at Davis (UC Davis). Being employed by UC Davis, Plaintiff was covered by its Supplemental Disability Insurance Plan, which was funded and administered by Liberty Life.

In Kimberly S. v. Liberty Life Assurance Company Of Boston, Plaintiff has filed a lawsuit to regain the benefits that were abruptly and wrongly terminated by Liberty Life.

Case Facts Against Liberty Life

Plaintiff worked as a registered nurse at the University of California at Davis until on or around September 29, 2009, when Plaintiff suffered a loss compensable under the terms of the Plan. Due to physical sickness, she was unable to perform the material and substantial duties of a registered nurse, requiring her to take a disability leave. Plaintiff submitted a long-term disability claim to Liberty Life, which was approved and began taking effect on September 29, 2009.

Termination of Long-Term Disability Benefits By Liberty Life

Effective September 28, 2011, Liberty Life wrongfully terminated Plaintiff’s long-term disability benefits. Liberty Life claims this was due to its conclusion that Plaintiff’s disability was due to a mental condition, making the payment of benefits subject to 24-month benefit limitation period.

Lawsuit Filed Against Liberty Life By California Disability Lawyer

In this lawsuit, Plaintiff claims that Liberty Life committed the following wrongful actions against the Plaintiff:

  • Improperly concluded that Plaintiff’s disability was caused by a mental condition, not due to physical sickness
  • Denied benefits that Plaintiff was entitled to under the terms of the Plan
  • Plaintiff has suffered contractual damages under the terms and conditions of the Plan, and will continue to do so, as Liberty Life has not changed its position
  • Plaintiff will suffer additional financial damage due to the loss of accumulated interest from unpaid benefits, other incidental damages, and out-of-pocket expenses
  • Not providing Plaintiff with a prompt and reasonable explanation of the basis why it denied Plaintiff benefits despite medical evidence submitted to Liberty Life
  • Unreasonably delaying payments to Plaintiff in bad faith when Liberty Life knows that Plaintiff’s claim for benefits is valid under the terms of the Plan
  • Failing to properly evaluate Plaintiff’s claim for long-term disability benefits
  • Applying the Policy terms in such a way as to limit the amount of financial exposure and contractual obligations that Liberty Life would be responsible for to the Plaintiff, thereby increasing its own profits in the process
  • Forcing Plaintiff to file this lawsuit in order to obtain the benefits that are rightfully hers under the terms of the Plan

Plaintiff Seeks Following Relief From Liberty Life Via Court Ruling

Due to Liberty Life’s actions against the Plaintiff, Plaintiff seeks following remedies from the Court:

  • A judgment that requires Liberty Life to pay for full benefits that have not been paid, including accrued interest. This amount will be more than $3,000.00 per month
  • A judgment that requires Liberty Life to pay all future interest so long as the Plaintiff meets the definition of disability as defined in the terms of the Plan
  • A judgment that requires Liberty Life to pay for general damages stemming from mental and emotional distress. This amount will be in the sum of $1,000,000.00
  • A judgment that requires Liberty Life to pay punitive and exemplary damages in the amount of over $5,000,000.00
  • A judgment that requires Liberty Life to pay triple the amount of punitive damages
  • A judgment that requires Liberty Life to pay all reasonable attorneys’ fees related to this lawsuit
  • A judgment that requires Liberty Life to pay all associated court costs
  • A judgment that requires Liberty Life all other relief that the Court decides to be fair and just

About the author: Gregory Michael Dell is an attorney and managing partner of the disability income division of Attorneys Dell & Schaefer. Mr. Dell and his team of lawyers have assisted thousands of long-term disability claimants with their claims against every major disability insurance company. To request a free legal consultation call 800-411-9085.

Disability Blog & Cases:
Registered nurse at Temple University Hospital denied disability benefits, sues Cigna

A Pennsylvania disability attorney recently filed a lawsuit in District Court of Pennsylvania against Cigna. The Plaintiff, Jamy V., was employed as a registered nurse for Temple University Health Systems (TUHS) through April 1, 2006. Due to her employment with TUHS, Plaintiff was covered by TUHS’s Group Long-Term Disability Plan. This plan was administered by Cigna.


Disability Blog & Cases:
Employees of Wells Fargo, Heinz, and Otis Elevator sue Liberty Life for denial of ERISA benefits

Liberty Life Assurance Company of Boston (Liberty) was sued by three Plaintiffs in District Courts in Pennsylvania, Ohio, and California for failure to provide disability benefits as promised by ERISA. In all three cases that were filed via the Plaintiffs’ respective attorneys, Liberty is accused of wrongfully denying the claims of all three Plaintiffs for long-term disability benefits as promised under their respective plans.


Disability Blog & Cases:
CIGNA has three new lawsuits to deal with for unpaid disability benefits

Three recent ERISA complaints were filed against CIGNA in Kentucky, New York and Texas for denying short-term and long-term disability benefits. In each of the cases, with the assistance of a disability attorney, the claimants are suing for claims that were allegedly wrongfully denied. Lets take a look at each case: