In Mary Beth Tobin v. Hartford Life and Accident Insurance Company, Plaintiff worked in Florida as manager of costuming operations for Disney Worldwide Services. She had been under the care of a physician for fibromyalgia beginning in February 2012. Her last day of work was October 2, 2012. She subsequently moved to Michigan and continued medical treatment with a board-certified family medicine physician.

Plaintiff filed a claim for long-term disability (LTD) benefits, providing Hartford with her medical records, which included the physician’s statement of functionality. Hartford denied her claim and her subsequent administrative appeals, so she filed this ERISA lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District Court for the Western District of Michigan.

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Disability attorneys Gregory Dell and Rachel Alters discuss a case out of the Western District of Washington in which the district court found that Hartford acted arbitrarily and capriciously when it terminated the benefits of a woman suffering from fibromyalgia. The woman had been receiving benefits for nearly two years after Hartford had agreed she was disabled from working in her own sedentary occupation.

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Prior to her disability Hadar Meiri was Vice President, Human Experience Strategy Director for MediaVest USA, earning an annual salary of $165,000. In July 2014 she was diagnosed with thyroid cancer for which she underwent a total thyroidectomy. She had also had a history of Hashimoto’s Thyroditis and Hypothroidism. Following her surgery she continued experiencing fatigue and weakness. She also developed symptoms of brain fog, poor memory, fatigue, and poor focus.

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In Rassekh Sobh v. Hartford Life and Accident Insurance Company, Hartford paid the plaintiff benefits beyond his own occupation period as a Technical Operations Lead for Chase Bank and into the any occupation period. During that time, plaintiff had two back surgeries and claimed he was disabled. His medical records and reports from his treating physician supported his claim and he received disability benefits for many years from 2009 to 2014. His treating physician, Dr. Dryer, waffled between supporting his disability claim, failing to respond to Hartford’s request for an opinion and reporting plaintiff could work in a sedentary job.
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A recent case out of the Northern District of Illinois reminds us of the hundreds, maybe thousands, of disability insurance cases we have had against Hartford insurance company. Although we did not handle this particular case, we believe our video and discussion about this recent case will be helpful to those who have had their long term benefits terminated.


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This is yet another case shedding light on the importance of timely exhausting administrative remedies before filing an ERISA lawsuit. In this recent case, which was decided by a U.S. District Court in Arkansas, Mr. Deaton, a former Walmart Stores employee, was on claim for disability with Walmart’s disability insurer, Hartford Life and Accident Insurance Company (“Hartford”).
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A California federal Judge recently reversed Hartford’s denial of long term disability benefits to a former manager that was initially approved from 2008 until July 2011. Hartford once again relied on their use of video surveillance and an IME report to wrongfully deny LTD benefits. Thankfully the claimant in this case took Hartford to court and won. While our disability attorneys have handled hundreds of cases against Hartford, this case was not handled by our law firm. The Judge’s opinion in this case was outstanding as it addresses all of the wrongdoing done by Hartford.
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