Disability Blog & Cases:
New York Federal Court Denies MetLife’s Motion To Dismiss Lyme Disease Victim’s Petition For Disability Benefits

In the case of Karen N. v. Metropolitan Life Insurance Company et. al, the United States District Court of New York, after hearing arguments from both sides regarding MetLife’s Motion to Dismiss the case, denied the motion in its entirety and directs the parties to appear for a status conference to determine how and when the case will proceed. And, while the Court did deny the insurer’s motion, that doesn’t mean that Karen N. will receive a favorable outcome in her lawsuit to receive her disability benefits. It does mean that the Court believes that the case deserves to be heard and ruled upon once all facts have been established.

Disability Blog & Cases:
Pennsylvania Pharmacy Owner Learns The Hard Way That Accuracy Is Everything When Applying for Disability Insurance Benefits

On January 28, 2011, the United Sated District Court of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania granted Berkshire Life Insurance Company of America’s Motion for Summary Judgment in Michael S. v. Berkshire Life Insurance Company of America, et. al. In addition, the plaintiff’s disability policy and FIO policy were rescinded negating…

FAQ: Social Security Disability Benefits
Can My Disability Insurance Benefits Be Denied If I Am Approved For Social Security Disability Benefits?

Disability Insurance Attorneys Gregory Dell and Cesar Gavidia discuss the misconception that a claimant will be approved for long term disability insurance benefits if social security disability benefits are approved.

Disability Blog & Cases:
Eastman Chemical Company Employee Loses Lawsuit Against MetLife for Disability Benefits

In a case recently decided by an Arkansas Federal Court, MetLife prevailed in a lawsuit filed by an Eastman Chemical Company Employee. Ultimately, due to video surveillance, a lack of medical support, and the fact that the claimant had continued working at a side job (of which he had failed to inform MetLife of) while claiming to be disabled, the Court, it seems, had no choice but to agree with MetLife’s decision to deny Long Term Disability Benefits.

Disability Blog & Cases:
Bon Secours Employee Wins Lawsuit Against Unum who had Denied Him Disability Benefits

A former Engineer Director for Bon Secours, with the help of his Pennsylvania  Disability Attorney, were forced to file a federal ERISA lawsuit after Unum repeatedly denied his claim for Long Term Disability Benefits under a disability policy he was covered under through his employment with Bon Secours. After filing Cross Motions for Summary Judgment, the Court ultimately ruled in favor of the claimant and against Unum.

Disability Blog & Cases:
Do You Know The Job Requirements To Be A Lincoln Financial Disability Claim Specialist?

As a disability lawyer that has handled thousands of disability insurance claims I often wonder about the qualifications and experience of the disability company employee that is making the decision to approve or deny my client’s claim. During our routine activities of watching The Lincoln Financial Group, I came across an internet job posting for an “Associate LTD Benefit Specialist” at Lincoln Financial in Atlanta, Georgia.The qualifications and requirements for the Lincoln benefit Specialist position are also listed at the end of this article.

Disability Blog & Cases:
A Claimant’s View of a Prudential Disability Benefit Denial

We always welcome our clients and other disability claimants nationwide to share their experiences regarding the handling of their disability insurance claim. A client of our law firm that was denied long term disability benefits by Prudential Insurance Company recently posted her thoughts…

Disability Blog & Cases:
Do You Know The Differences Between ERISA Disability Policy And NON-ERISA Disability Policy?

Watch our video to learn more about long term disability insurance claims which are subject to ERISA.

Disability Blog & Cases:
Will A $38 Million Loss Result In More Prudential Disability Insurance Claim Denials?

Prudential is not very happy right now and disability claimants may suffer as a result. Prudential’s group insurance division, which includes long-term disability insurance policies, reported a 2012 first quarter loss of $38 million compared to a gain of $39, million a year ago…

Disability Blog & Cases:
Minnesota Disability Claimant Filed Suit Against Employer Over Terminated Disability Benefits

A Minnesota Federal Court recently ruled against a claimant and in favor of the employer with regards to disability benefits. This case is a poignant reminder that even after being on claim for nearly 7 years, a claimant can be denied at any time. It further shows why it is important to have your claim sufficiently supported with evidence from your treating physician whether the claim administer requests it or not. Let’s take a closer look at the case of Richard P. v. Kohler Co.

Disability Blog & Cases:
Court Finds MetLife Has No Right To Request An IME After Unnecessary Delay

Recently, a claimant was forced to hire a California Disability Lawyer and file a lawsuit against MetLife after being denied continued Long Term Disability Benefits. After agreeing with the claimant that she was disabled through the "own occupation" period, the Court awarded the claimant benefits for that limited time period. However, the court then asked MetLife to take a closer look at the "any occupation" period. For an unexplained reason, MetLife dragged its feet on making a determination.

Connie White waited more than five years to file a lawsuit against MetLife for denial of her disability benefits. The law in Louisiana only provided Ms. White 5 years to file her legal action. The district court dismissed her disability claim and the 5th Circuit court of appeals affirmed the denial. Disability insurance claimants need to take timely action if a claim for disability benefits is denied. Failure to act within strict time lines can result in the inability to pursue a claim in court.

Failing to oppose Metropolitan’s Motion for Summary Judgment, White alleges that her case was decided on the basis of her failure as opposed to the merits of her case. And even though the Court ruled to approve the insurer’s motion, White was given a second chance to file her opposition. White had 10 days to file an opposing position to the original motion for summary judgment. Never filing anything acknowledging the motion, White, after the fact, claimed that the Court erred in its decision to uphold Metropolitan’s decision to deny her long-term disability benefits.

The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals Agrees to Review White’s Case

As a result of her claim, the District Court of Appeals Fifth Circuit agreed to review the District Courts Summary Judgment de novo. White contended that the Court entered its ruling "solely because Metropolitan’s motion was unopposed." And while the Court disputed this contention, it claimed that it granted the insurer’s motion based on the evidence presented in Metropolitan’s summary judgment motion.

The Fifth Circuit ruled that "the district court’s ruling was correct on the merits." According to the terms of White’s insurance plan, legal action cannot be filed "more than three years after proof of Disability," unless "the area where you live allows a longer period of time to file proof of Disability." In White’s case, she let that time period expire. Consequently, her challenge to Metropolitan’s benefit denial "was filed too late."

Finding of the Fifth Circuit Court in Connie D. White v. Metropolitan Life Insurance Company

The Circuit Court pointed out that since ERISA doesn’t set a specific limitation period, state law applies. In Ms. White’s case the law in Louisiana allows 5 years for a lawsuit to be filed. Unable to present a case that proves that Metropolitan did not materially misrepresent itself or its decision to deny White disability benefits or that "extraordinary circumstances" existed, White did not prevail in her appeal. Consequently, the Fifth Circuit Court allowed the District Court’s ruling in White to stand. The lesson here is that timely filing of disability lawsuits and answers are imperative to a disability claimant’s lawsuit being favourably ruled upon.

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 800-698-9162.

Disability Insurance Law TV:
Deposition of medical consultant hired by MetLife for a disability insurance claim

It’s hard to imagine that a person that a person undergoes a 5 level surgical fusion procedure and does not have any restrictions or limitations. That was the position taken by a medical consultant hired by MetLife. The physician in this video deposition has reviewed hundreds of long term disability claims on behalf of MetLife. This video is an excerpt from the video-taped deposition of an orthopedic physician hired by Met Life to review medical records and determine if our client had any restrictions or limitations that prevented him from performing the duties of his occupation as a chiropractor. Despite never examining our client, the MetLife hired physician determined that our client had no restrictions or limitations and he could do any activities he wishes.

Disability Blog & Cases:
New York Court upholds Hartford Insurance Company’s denial of disability benefits but denies $86,000 overpayment claim

A District Court ruling issued in New York’s Southern District Court illuminates the importance of understanding the meaning of an “occupation qualifier” and/or an “earnings qualifier” requirement in your long-term disability insurance policy. In general, to qualify for disability under a policy that requires these two prerequisites you must show…

Disability Blog & Cases:
Disability lawsuit against MetLife alleges insurance company refuses to pay disabled claimant

The Metropolitan Life Insurance Company, known as MetLife (NYSE: MET), is being sued in United States District Court, Southern District of Florida, for refusing to honor its contractual obligation to pay long term disability insurance benefits to a psychologically impaired woman.

Disability Blog & Cases:
Liberty Mutual sued in Tampa Federal Court for denying long term disability insurance benefits

An ERISA disability lawsuit was filed against the Liberty Life Assurance Company, this time in Federal Court in the Middle District of Florida. Andrea Medders was forced to file suit after her administrative appeals were denied and Liberty Life, also known as Liberty Mutual refused to pay her long term disability benefits.

Disability Blog & Cases:
CIGNA/LINA sued for denying waiver of life insurance premium to caretaker of disabled and mentally challenged adults

After repeated appeals asking CIGNA / LINA to change their decision regarding denial of waiver of life insurance premiums due to total disability, Wendy Magee was recently forced to hire Michigan disability attorneys and file an ERISA disability lawsuit in the Federal Court of the Western District of Michigan.

Disability Blog & Cases:
Federal Court provides 5 reasons CIGNA wrongfully denied disability benefits to man suffering from chronic fatigue syndromes

Citing a financial incentive to cheat, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit recently overruled the decision of CIGNA (CI) to deny disability benefits to a man suffering from chronic fatigue syndrome. For anyone disabled by chronic fatigue or fibromyalgia this is a very supportive case and great law. The court provided five reasons that Cigna abused its discretion by denying disability insurance benefits. Let’s take a close at the case history and the court’s reasoning.

Frequently, a disability attorney finds that additional information is needed before he or she can demonstrate that a conflict of interest has motivated the denial of benefits by an ERISA governed disability insurance company. In order to secure this information, the disability insurance attorney files a Motion to Compel Discovery. In response, the disability insurance company inevitably contests the need to provide this information.

→ Continue reading Court orders Citigroup and MetLife to answer discovery request exposing conflict of interest in long-term disability benefit denial

Once again, long-term disability insurance provider Metropolitan Life Insurance Company (MetLife) has been ordered by the court to reverse a long-term disability denial because the Court found the grounds for denying the benefits were arbitrary and capricious. This is a far too common occurrence, and one that disability insurance attorneys see frequently.

We are going to look at how Lanier’s disability insurance attorney represented him before Judge David M. Lawson of the U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Michigan, Southern division.

→ Continue reading MetLife ordered to reverse denial of long-term disability insurance benefits

In the case we are going to look at, a disability insurance attorney found himself representing a client who believed that Metropolitan Life Insurance Company (MetLife) had wrongfully denied the extension of his long-term disability benefits.  This is a far too common occurrence, and one that disability insurance attorneys see frequently. As we look at this case, you will see that without the representation of a disability attorney, John Lanier would not have received his rightful benefits.

→ Continue reading MetLife denies long-term disability benefits to a consultant after approving them

A recent short-term disability case before the United States Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit, Chicago, Ill., demonstrates that insurance companies are no friendlier to their own employees than anyone else. Kirsten Majeski worked for Metropolitan Life Insurance Company (MetLife) as a nurse consultant until June 2006 when she began complaining of pain and numbness in her shoulders, arms and hands. She was diagnosed with cervical radiculitis, a disorder of the spinal nerve roots.

Click here to continue reading MetLife must reconsider denial of benefits for former MetLife employee