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.