Disability Lawyer Files Lawsuit Against Liberty Mutual

In the case of Georgia Lewis Vs Liberty Life Assurance Company Of Boston, Wachovia Corporation And Wachovia Corporation Long Term Disability Plan, the plaintiff filed a lawsuit against the Liberty Life Assurance Company Of Boston (Liberty Life) at the District Court For The District Of New Jersey. In the lawsuit, the plaintiff alleged that Liberty Life had violated the provisions of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA). The lawsuit was brought against Liberty Life to recover disability income benefits that were due under an employee welfare benefit plan in which Liberty Life was designated as the Claims Administrator and Claims Fiduciary of the Plan.

The Alleged Facts of The Case Against Liberty Life

The plaintiff Georgia Lewis was a former employee of Wachovia Corporation. While as an employee of Wachovia Corporation, she participated in the Wachovia Corporation Long Term Disability Plan in which the Wachovia Corporation acted as the sponsor and plan Administrator. Liberty Life was the Claims Administrator for this plan.

The Claim For Disability Benefits

On January 5th 2006, the plaintiff ceased working as a result of disabling impairments due to suffering from fibromyalgia, ulnar neuropathy of the left arm, and cubital tunnel syndrome. The plaintiff later filed a claim for benefits claiming that she had met the Plan’s definition of "total disability" as she had been rendered unable to perform the material duties of a her occupation.

Initially her disability application for disability benefits was approved by Liberty Life and she received payment of benefits from Liberty Life until November 23rd 2009. On November 23rd 2009, Liberty Life terminated the plaintiff’s benefits on the ground that she did not meet the plan definition of being disabled anymore.

The Appeals To The Termination Of Benefits

In the lawsuit, the plaintiff alleged that her medical condition had not changed and that she has been totally disabled until the present time. She later submitted an appeal to Liberty Life’s decision to deny her disability benefits. Several medical documentations from her attending physicians attesting to her "total disability" condition were also submitted to support her appeal. Nevertheless, on July 14th 2010, Liberty Life informed the plaintiff of its decision to reaffirm the denial of benefits.

Another appeal was later submitted to the Wachovia Long Term Disability Appeal Committee which on November 9th 2010 informed the plaintiff of its final determination reaffirming the decision to deny benefits to the plaintiff.

Relief Sought By The Plaintiff In The Lawsuit

The plaintiff alleged that Liberty Life’s determination that the plaintiff was not totally disabled was not based on evidence and is contrary to the welfare of the plan. The plaintiff further alleged that Liberty Life’s actions in handling and determination of the Plaintiff‘s claim were arbitrary and capricious. Due to the final determination by Liberty Life, the plaintiff has exhausted all her administrative remedies and is asking the Court to review the matter and enter judgment in favor of her. The plaintiff is specifically asking the Court for the following relief:

  1. An Order to Liberty Life to pay disability income benefits to the Plaintiff in an amount equal to the contractual amount of benefits to which the Plaintiff is entitled.
  2. An Order to Liberty Life to pay the Plaintiff prejudgment interest on all benefits that have accrued prior to the date of judgment;
  3. An Order to Liberty Life to continue paying the Plaintiff benefits until such time as she meets the policy conditions for discontinuance of benefits;
  4. An Award of attorney’s fees pursuant to 29 U.S.C. §l l32(g); and
  5. Award any and all other relief to which she may be entitled, as well as the costs of suit.

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.