Dr. Bruce Leipzig had been denied long-term disability benefits by Principal Life Insurance Company, and brought his ERISA case before the District Court covering the northern part of Texas. After hearing the case, the Court issued summary judgment in favor of the disability insurance company.
An interesting disability claim arose in 2008 that highlights the challenges a disabled individual can face when a span of time exists between the time of a covered event and the manifestation of an injury associated with that event. This case against CIGNA is rare because it is an accident and sickness policy rather than a traditional disability insurance policy. It is also rare, because most disability insurance companies will not lose a copy of your policy. A disability claimant should make every effort to keep the original copy of their disability insurance policy. A New York ambulance volunteer, George Glew, discovered this when he sought to claim disability benefits under a CIGNA Life Insurance Company of New York (CIGNA) policy that covered accidents and sickness for employees and volunteers in the Shirley Community Ambulance Company. This case is rare because it is an accident and sickness policy rather than a traditional disability insurance policy.
It isn’t always the claimant who appeals a District Court decision. The District Court may rule in favor of the claimant and have its decision challenged by the disability insurance provider. Wenner v. Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada is just such a case. Arguments were heard in the U.S. Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit, located in Cincinnati, Ohio. The case arose from Nashville, Tennessee. This entire disability claim could probably been avoided had the claimant hired a disability insurance attorney to manage his disability claim on a monthly basis. The denial of this claimant’s claim resulted in more than 4 years of delay before the claimant was able begin receiving monthly benefits again.