Unum / Provident / Paul Revere

In Pamela Fleming v. Unum Life Insurance Company of America (Unum), Plaintiff, a litigation attorney, was in a car accident in 1994 and suffered serious injuries to her spine. She never fully recovered and by July 2005, she was only able to work four hours a day and eventually had to completely stop working.

In December 2005, Unum approved Plaintiff’s claim for LTD benefits. Through the years, she periodically submitted updated medical records and continued to receive benefits until September 26, 2016, when Unum informed her by letter that her benefits were terminated. Unum stated that it believed she was no longer disabled and could return to work. After exhausting her administrative remedies, Plaintiff filed this ERISA lawsuit.

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In Kevin C. McCusker v. Unum Life Insurance Co. of America, Et al., Plaintiff found his wife dead in their house on February 10, 2016. The wife had been employed by Fidelity Bank where she was a participant in a group life and accidental death plan through Fidelity’s employee welfare benefit plan. Plaintiff was named as the beneficiary. Under the plan, “Unum is vested with discretionary authority to make benefit determinations…”

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In David L. Rothman v. Unum Group, Unum Life Insurance Company of America (Unum), Plaintiff was a Certified Financial Planner who had worked for almost 30 years in a business owned by his father, Rothman Securities, when he developed a drug addiction. He was unable to perform the duties of his regular occupation and received disability benefits from October 12, 2012, until October 2015. On October 1, 2015, Unum terminated Plaintiff’s benefits. Plaintiff’s appeals were denied and he then filed this lawsuit against Unum for breach of contract and bad faith.

Background

In addition to his drug abuse problems, in March 2013, Plaintiff pled guilty to wire fraud and money laundering and was fired by Rothman Securities. In January 2014, he was sentenced to a 4-year prison sentence and in February that same year, his professional license was revoked due to his criminal conviction.

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Insurance companies are known for having delays. In this video Attorney Gregory Dell & Stephen Jessup discuss very specific facts surrounding the timeframe for which UNUMS’s extension was to begin and could be tolled in McFarland vs. First UNUM. Learn about the importance of providing all pertinent information during the ERISA administrative appeal process.

Collins v. Unum Life Insurance Company of America is a case with an unfortunate result for plaintiff Daniel Collins who fractured his ankle when he fell in the employee parking lot. Initially surgery was performed and various screws put in place to hold the tibia and fibula together and securing the medial malleolus. For about three months, he had no complaints and the fracture appeared to be healing appropriately.
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Can a Functional Capacity Evaluation be Useful to determine if a Claimant with Fibromyalgia is disabled?

It is very common for an insurance company to deny disability benefits to individuals suffering from Fibromyalgia. This happens more often than not due to the inability to provide the insurance company with objective proof of the disability, as none exists. There are no known objective tests for fibromyalgia at this point in time.
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In this recent case out of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania the court found that Unum had abused its discretion when it failed to consider whether the claimant could do the material and substantial duties of her regular occupation. The case answers a question posed by many claimants: Is the insurance company obligated to consider my job duties when evaluating my claim?
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