GREENVILLE, S.C. — A South Carolina federal judge on July 27 reversed a disability insurer’s denial of long-term disability benefits after determining that the claimant has proven that he was unable to perform essential mental functions his own occupation.
GREENBELT, Md. — A disability claimant’s breach of contract claim is not preempted by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act because the disability policy at issue was not part of an employee welfare plan governed by ERISA, a Maryland federal judge said July 28 in denying the insurer’s motion for summary judgment.
ORLANDO, Fla. — A Florida federal magistrate judge on July 26 recommended denying a disability insurer’s motion for attorney fees based on the conclusion that an offer of judgment made by the disability insurer to the claimant before the court’s entry of judgment in favor of the insurer was invalid.
BOSTON — A Massachusetts federal judge on July 28 dismissed a disability claimant’s suit after determining that the claimant is not entitled to any additional benefits under the plan because the plan clearly states that no benefits would be paid after the claimant’s 65th birthday if the claimant became disabled before the claimant’s 61st birthday.
OAKLAND, Calif. — A disability claimant is entitled to an award of attorney fees in the amount of $202,490 and costs in the amount of $3,130 because the claimant achieved success on the merits of her disability claim, a California federal judge said July 26.
LOS ANGELES — California law and not the Employee Retirement Income Security Act governs a disability policy because the policy at issue was an individual policy and the disability claimant paid the policy premiums directly to the insurer, a California federal judge said July 20 in granting the disability claimant’s motion for summary judgment and allowing breach of contract and bad faith claims to proceed.
MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A breach of fiduciary duty claim against a disability insurer must be dismissed because the disability claimant failed to plead facts to support a separate claim for breach of fiduciary duty, a Tennessee federal judge said July 8.
NEW ORLEANS — A district court properly found that a disability insurer did not breach its contract because the policy at issue provided only a five-year maximum benefits period and the claimant failed to offer any evidence in support of his argument that the policy provided a 10-year maximum benefit period, the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals said July 15.
SAVANNAH, Ga. — A Georgia federal judge on June 21 granted a disability insurer’s motion to dismiss after determining that the claimant’s lawsuit is barred by the doctrine of res judicata because the claimant filed a suit in 2017 that was based on the same denial of long-term disability benefits.
DETROIT — A Michigan federal judge on June 23 granted a disability plan administrator’s motion for judgment on the administrative record after determining that the administrator’s termination of benefits was not arbitrary or capricious based on the plan language.
LANSING, Mich. — A disability insurer’s termination of long-term disability benefits is supported by the medical evidence, a Michigan federal judge said July 7 in denying the claimant’s motion for judgment on the administrative record after determining that the claimant was not disabled from performing his duties as a lawyer.
FRESNO, Calif. — A California federal judge on June 28 denied a disability insurer’s motion for partial summary judgment on misrepresentation and fraud claims because the claims are based on conduct that occurred outside of the contract and are not preempted by the applicable Illinois law.
OAKLAND, Calif. — A California federal judge on June 25 denied a disability insurer’s motion to dismiss after determining that the disability insurer is a proper defendant for the claimant’s short-term disability (STD) claim and that the disability insurer failed to prove that the claimant did not exhaust all administrative remedies on the claim for long-term disability (LTD) benefits.
SAN FRANCISCO — A disability claimant failed to show that a disability insurer’s termination of long-term disability (LTD) was not reasonable, a California federal judge said June 23, noting that the claimant offered very little evidence in support of her claim for disability benefits.
MACON, Ga. — A disability insurer’s termination of a claimant’s long-term disability benefits based on a finding that the claimant was not disabled from any occupation was not de novo wrong or unreasonable because the claimant failed to show that the reports of the insurer’s consulting physicians were unreliable or that the report of her treating physician was more reliable, a Georgia federal judge said June 23 in granting the insurer’s motion for judgment.
LOS ANGELES — A California federal magistrate judge on June 24 denied a disability plan’s motion for a protective order, rejecting the plan’s argument that the disability claimant is not entitled to conduct discovery because the plan already produced the entire administrative record.
BOSTON — A Massachusetts federal judge on June 28 granted a motion to dismiss after determining that a reduction of a claimant’s long-term disability (LTD) was not an abuse of discretion because the reduction was permitted by the terms of the disability plan at issue.
SAN FRANCISCO — A California federal judge on June 28 entered judgment in favor of a disability claimant after determining that a prior order finding that the claimant is owed long-term disability was a final order, entitling the claimant to a payment of past due and current benefits.
NEW ORLEANS — The Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on June 29 reversed and remanded a district court’s ruling that a disability insurer owed no coverage to a claimant after determining that the claimant’s disability coverage shifted from one insurer to another insurer at the end of a calendar year.
MINNEAPOLIS — A Minnesota federal judge on June 14 adopted a magistrate judge’s May 25 recommendation that a disability claimant’s motion to amend a complaint to add a bad faith claim be denied because the Minnesota statute under which the claimant seeks to add the bad faith claim does not apply to disability policies.