Disabled since March 12, 2008, Gayle Bennett initially received her disability benefits from Prudential Life Insurance until February 27, 2010, when Prudential ceased paying Bennett’s disability benefits and refused to continue paying her disability benefits as required by her Plan. Consequently, Bennett and her disability attorney filed a six count lawsuit in the United States District Court in the Northern District of Texas, Dallas Division against the insurance company.
Bennett Alleges That Prudential Has Breached Its Contract With Her To Provide Her Rightful Disability Benefit Payments
In her complaint, Bennett and her disability attorney allege that Prudential breached its contract with her by denying her disability benefits even though Bennett had met all the requirements for receiving said benefits. Bennett also alleges that Prudential denied her benefits with malice, which caused Bennett mental anguish. Bennett’s disability attorney enumerates several instances of misconduct by Prudential in its dealing with Bennett that includes:
- A violation of chapter 541 of the Texas Insurance Code by intentionally and knowingly engaging in unfair methods of competition and unfair and deceptive acts of practices in the business of insurance by misrepresenting Bennett’s material fact and/or policy provisions for coverage, failing to give Bennett a fair equitable settlement as required by Texas Code, and failing to provide a reasonable explanation of why Prudential denied Bennett her disability benefits.
- A violation of §541.061 of the Texas Insurance Code by making an untrue statement of material facts, failing to state a material fact necessary to make other statements made not misleading, making a statement that would mislead a reasonable prudent person to conclude a false impression, making a material misstatement of the law.
- Prudential didn’t acknowledge Bennett’s claim within the 15-day period required by the Texas Insurance Code.
- Prudential didn’t provide Bennett with an acceptance or rejection of her claim in writing within the 15-day period required by the Texas Insurance Code.
- Prudential didn’t notify Bennett of the reasons for accepting or rejecting her disability claim.
- In violation of the Texas Deceptive Trade Practice – Consumer Protection Act, Bennett’s disability attorney also alleges that Prudential intentionally and knowingly:
- Represented themselves as providing goods and service that they don’t have;
- Represented their insurance plan as an agreement that confers or involves rights, remedies, or obligations that it doesn’t actually provide; and
- Misrepresented the quality and grade of their services and plan.
- Bennett states in her complaint that she relied on the promises Prudential made to her detriment, that her claim was handled in an untimely manner, and that she has suffered anguish over the situation.
- Prudential negligently and intentionally misrepresented Bennett’s policy as being governed by ERISA.
- Bennett was forced to hire an attorney to get Prudential’s attention.
- Bennett has evidence showing that "more than 60 days have passed since Prudential received all required and requested document."
Stating that Prudential’s conduct was "unconscionable," Bennett’s disability attorney seeks several remedies to compensate Bennett for her financial damages and her emotional damages and wants to present Bennett’s case before a jury.
What Bennett Requests In Relief From Prudential
Bennett requests relief from Prudential according to the dictates of Teas Insurance Code for the following:
- The amount of actual damages;
- The amount not more than three times the actual damages due to Prudential’s conduct being committed knowingly;
- Court costs and attorney’s fees; and
- 18 per cent annum on her claim for her injuries, damages and attorney’s fees.
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.