The Plaintiff, Christopher L., with the help of his Texas Disability Attorney, has filed this lawsuit against Sedgwick Claims Management Services , Inc. (Sedgwick), Administrator of the Hewlett-Packard (HP) Company Disability Plan.
In Christopher L. v. Sedgwick Claims Management Services, Inc., Plaintiff has filed this lawsuit to regain all short-term and long-term disability payments that were wrongfully terminated.
Plaintiff’s Rights of Disability Benefits Under The Plan
Plaintiff is a 44 year old man who is a citizen and resident of Tomball, Texas. Sedgwick was responsible for funding and administering the Plan, which Plaintiff was entitled to the benefits of based on his employment with HP as a Project Manager.
Plaintiff was forced to cease work on April 25, 2008 due to bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, chronic fatigue, diabetic neuropathy, memory loss, sleep issues, fibromyalgia, depression, vision problems, high blood pressure, and sunlight sensitivity.
Plaintiff filed applications for short term and long term disability benefits. Plaintiff’s claim for short term disability benefits were granted by Sedgwick. Plaintiff later filed for long term disability benefits, which were initially granted by Sedgwick on December 1, 2008.
Sedgwick Changes Decision And Denies Future Long Term Disability Benefits
On August 20, 2010, Sedgwick denied further long term disability benefits to the Plaintiff. Plaintiff had 180 days to appeal this decision. The disability standard to apply in order to approve or deny a claim was being unable to perform "Any Occupation." If the application was approved, the Plan would pay a monthly benefit of $4,351.72.
Plaintiff requested an administrative review of the denial of benefits on December 6, 2010. Plaintiff included medical records to show his total disability, and thus, his argument for being approved for further long term disability benefits. In addition, the Social Security Administration issued a fully favorable decision on Plaintiff’s claim for disability benefits under Title II and Title XVI of the Social Security Act.
Despite this, Sedgwick upheld its original denial on March 17, 2011. Sedgwick also informed Plaintiff that he had exhausted all administrative remedies. Due to this, Plaintiff has filed this lawsuit against Sedgwick.
Lawsuit Filed Against Sedgwick
Plaintiff filed a lawsuit against Sedgwick because Sedgwick discounted the opinions of Plaintiff’s treating physicians, of others, and of the documented limitations that the Plaintiff suffers from due to his medical conditions, thereby preventing him from fulfilling the duties of any occupation and entitling him to the long term disability benefits as detailed under the Plan.
Plaintiff claims that Sedgwick failed to give proper weight to the evidence submitted to them regarding Plaintiff’s condition and his inability to work. Plaintiff also claims that Sedgwick did not properly define disability as outlined in the terms of the Plan, calling it "unreasonable, arbitrary, and capricious." Plaintiff claims that Sedgwick failed to fulfill its contractual obligations to provide disability benefits to the Plaintiff.
The Relief Sought
Plaintiff wants a judgment against Sedgwick for the following:
- All short term and long term disability benefits that have not been paid as of yet
- All future short term and long term disability benefits according to the terms of the Plan for so long as the Plaintiff meets the terms of the Plan
- All reasonable attorney fees and expenses due to the filing of this lawsuit
- All other relief that the Court deems just 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.