Mealey's Disability Insurance

  • January 07, 2021

    Disability Benefits Suit Dismissed With Prejudice Per Parties’ Stipulation

    LOS ANGELES — Following a ruling to modify a ruling entered in favor of a disability claimant to account for the disability plan’s 60-day waiting period in the calculation of the end date on which long-term disability (LTD) benefits must be paid, a California federal judge on Dec. 17 granted the parties’ stipulation to dismiss the suit with prejudice.

  • January 07, 2021

    Attorney Fees Not Warranted In Remanded Disability Suit, Judge Determines

    CAMDEN, N.J. — A New Jersey federal judge on Dec. 17 denied a disability claimant’s motion for attorney fees in a suit that was remanded to state court after determining that the defendant’s basis for removal was not so “objectively unreasonable” to warrant an award of attorney fees.

  • January 07, 2021

    Claim For Total Disability Benefits Properly Denied, Magistrate Judge Says

    WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — A disability claimant is not entitled to total disability benefits under a disability income policy because the applicable statute of limitations and the policy’s notice provision bar the claim, a Florida federal magistrate judge said Jan. 5 in recommending that the claimant’s motion for summary judgment be denied.

  • January 07, 2021

    Judge Dismisses Disability Benefits Suit Following Settlement Between Parties

    RIVERSIDE, Calif. — A California federal judge on Jan. 4 granted a stipulation to dismiss a disability benefits suit following a settlement reached by the parties as a result of their participation in mediation.

  • January 07, 2021

    Disability Claimant Ordered To Show Cause As To Why Appeal Should Proceed

    SAN DIEGO — The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Jan. 5 ordered a disability claimant to show cause as to why an appeal of a district court’s ruling entered against the claimant should not be dismissed for lack of jurisdiction as the claimant did not file the appeal within 30 days of the district court’s judgment.

  • January 07, 2021

    Disability Claimant To Appeal Finding That Insurer Did Not Abuse Discretion

    ST. LOUIS — A disability claimant is appealing a district court’s ruling that a disability insurer did not abuse its discretion in terminating a claimant’s long-term disability (LTD) benefits under the plan’s total disability standard, according to a Jan. 4 notice of appeal filed in Missouri federal court.

  • January 06, 2021

    NFL Disability Plan’s Petition For Rehearing Of Abuse Of Discretion Ruling Denied

    ATLANTA — The 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Jan. 5 denied a petition for panel rehearing or rehearing en banc filed by the Bert Bell/Pete Rozelle NFL Players Retirement Plan, refusing to reconsider its finding that the disability plan abused its discretion in failing to consider relevant evidence and in failing to consider the cumulative effects of a former National Football League player’s ailments.

  • January 06, 2021

    Termination Of LTD Benefits Is Not Supported By Medical Evidence, Judge Says

    SAN FRANCISCO — A disability insurer’s termination of long-term disability benefits is not supported by the medical evidence, a California federal judge said Dec. 29 after finding that the claimant met her burden of proving that she is disabled from performing the duties of her own occupation.

  • January 06, 2021

    Claimant Failed To Prove He Is Disabled From Own Occupation, Judge Says

    NEW YORK — A New York federal judge on Dec. 16 denied a disability claimant’s motion for judgment after determining that the claimant failed to meet his burden of proving that he is unable to perform the duties of his own occupation as a result of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) caused by the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center.

  • January 05, 2021

    District Court Properly Found Benefits Termination Was Not Arbitrary, Capricious

    PHILADELPHIA — The Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Dec. 30 affirmed a district court’s finding that the termination of a claimant’s disability benefits was not arbitrary and capricious because the termination of benefits was not against the weight of the medical evidence.

  • December 10, 2020

    Award Of Attorney Fees Would Impose Financial Hardship On Disability Claimant

    PHOENIX — An Arizona federal judge on Dec. 3 denied a disability insurer’s motion for attorney fees and costs after determining that the claimant met her burden of proving that an award of attorney fees would impose a financial hardship on her (Cynthia Cheney v. United States Life Insurance Company in the City of New York, No. 17-004, D. Ariz., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 230724).

  • December 09, 2020

    Final Judgment Granted In Favor Of Disability Insurer; Settlement Must Be Enforced

    MINNEAPOLIS — A Minnesota federal judge on Dec. 7 entered final judgment in favor of a disability insurer after determining that a disability claimant failed to offer any compelling reasons to warrant the court’s reconsideration of its decision to grant a disability insurer’s motion to enforce a settlement between the parties (Timothy Smith v. Unum Life Insurance Company of America, No. 19-1659, D. Minn., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 229176).

  • December 09, 2020

    Disability Insurer Did Not Abuse Discretion In Terminating LTD Benefits

    ST. LOUIS — A disability insurer did not abuse its discretion in terminating a claimant’s long-term disability (LTD) benefits because the insurer’s decision that the claimant was not disabled under the plan’s total disability standard is supported by medical evidence, a Missouri federal judge said Dec. 8 (Timothy Harris v. Federal Express Corp. Long Term Disability Plan, No. 19-2948, E.D. Mo., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 230239).

  • December 07, 2020

    No Additional Benefits Owed To Disability Claimant, Panel Says In Affirming

    ATLANTA — A district court did not err in finding that a disability claimant is not entitled to additional benefits under a cost of living adjustment (COLA) rider because once the claimant began collecting disability benefits under a lifetime rider, the benefits under the COLA rider were no longer available, the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals said Dec. 1 (Lloyd Wickboldt v. Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Co., No. 19-14032, 11th Cir., 2020 U.S. App. LEXIS 37440).

  • December 01, 2020

    Insurer’s Termination Of Disability Benefits Supported By Medical Evidence

    FLINT, Mich. — A Michigan federal judge on Nov. 30 granted a disability insurer’s motion for judgment on the administrative record after determining that the termination of a claimant’s long-term disability (LTD) benefits is supported by the medical evidence and by the claimant’s social media posts of activities that were not consistent with the claimant’s reports of the severity of her symptoms (Christina Marie Malik v. Unum Life Insurance Company of America, No. 18-13628, E.D. Mich., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 222806).

  • December 01, 2020

    Disability Insurer Properly Denied Additional STD, LTD Benefits, Judge Says

    HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — An Alabama federal judge on Oct. 13 granted a disability insurer’s motion for judgment on the administrative record after determining that the insurer properly denied a claim for long-term disability (LTD) benefits because the claimant did not exhaust her short-term disability (STD) benefits as required by the plan (Holly Naomi Simmons v. Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada, et al., No. 19-395, N.D. Ala., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 221534).

  • November 30, 2020

    Disability Claimant Proved She Worked More Than 30 Hours Per Week, Judge Says

    OAKLAND, Calif. — A California federal judge on Nov. 24 entered judgment in favor of a disability claimant after determining that the claimant proved that she worked more than 30 hours a week as required to qualify for disability benefits under the policy (Caroline L. Connor M.D. v. Unum Life Insurance Company of America, No. 19-6552, N.D. Calif., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 221689).

  • November 25, 2020

    Claims Related To Missed Disability Payment Barred By Statutes Of Limitations

    SAN FRANCISCO — The majority of a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Nov. 20 affirmed a district court’s ruling that an insured’s claims based on an alleged missed disability income payment by a disability income insurer are barred by statutes of limitations because the claims accrued in 1998 when the alleged payment should have been issued (Renato Openiano v.  Hartford Life and Annuity Insurance  Co., et al., No. 19-56206, 9th Cir., 2020 U.S. App. LEXIS 36614).

  • November 24, 2020

    NFL Disability Plan Seeks Rehearing Of 11th Circuit’s Abuse Of Discretion Ruling

    ATLANTA — Rehearing of the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals’ decision that a disability plan abused its discretion in failing to consider relevant evidence and in failing to consider the cumulative effects of the former National Football League player’s ailments is warranted because the decision is based on the appeals panel’s misunderstanding of how the player’s evidence was presented to the plan committee, the plan contends in a Nov. 19 petition for panel rehearing or rehearing en banc (Darren Mickell v. Bert Bell/Pete Rozelle NFL Players Retirement Plan, No. 19-10651, 11th Cir., 2020 U.S. App. LEXIS 32516).

  • November 23, 2020

    Future Disability Benefits Cannot Be Calculated To Resolve Amount In Controversy

    PHOENIX — A disability claimant’s suit seeking a declaration as to her future entitlement to disability benefits must be remanded to state court because the amount of future benefits cannot be considered when calculating the amount in controversy, an Arizona federal judge said Nov. 19 (Linda I. Shields, M.D. v. Provident Life and Accident Insurance Co., No. 20-1966, D. Ariz., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 216677).

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