Mealey's Disability Insurance

  • May 20, 2020

    Termination Of Disability Benefits Was Not De Novo Wrong, Magistrate Judge Says

    FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. —  A Florida federal magistrate judge on May 14 recommended that a disability claimant’s motion for summary judgment be denied and that a disability insurer’s motion for summary judgment be granted because the disability insurer’s termination of benefits was not de novo wrong based on the medical evidence (Gregory Campbell v. Reliance Standard Life Insurance Co., No. 19-61695, S.D. Fla., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 87282).

  • May 18, 2020

    No Additional Benefits Owed Under STD Policy, California Federal Judge Determines

    OAKLAND, Calif. — A disability claimant is not entitled to additional benefits under a short-term disability (STD) policy because the claimant already received the maximum amount of benefits available under the STD policy, a California federal judge said May 15 (Ralph F. Hints v. American Family Life Assurance Company of Columbus, No. 19-3764, N.D. Calif., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 86079).

  • May 18, 2020

    Evidence Supports Finding That Claimant Was Not Disabled From Any Occupation

    LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — An Arkansas federal judge on May 12 upheld the termination of a claimant’s long-term disability (LTD) benefits after determining that the plan administrator’s finding that the claimant was not disabled from any occupation is supported by the medical evidence (Kathy Blagg v. Eaton Corp., et al., No. 19-49, E.D. Ark., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 83968).

  • May 18, 2020

    Limited Discovery Is Warranted In Disability Benefits Dispute, Federal Judge Says

    ST. LOUIS — A Missouri federal judge on May 14 partially granted a disability claimant’s motion to conduct limited discovery after determining that additional discovery is warranted on the issue of whether the claims administrator considered the terms of claimant’s severance agreement when it denied a claim for long-term disability (LTD) benefits (Dawn Marie Moore v. Sedgwick Claims Management Services Inc., et al., No. 19-2513, E.D. Mo., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 85027).

  • May 15, 2020

    10th Circuit Reverses Ruling In Disability Benefits Suit, Finds No Abuse Of Discretion

    DENVER — The 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on May 13 reversed and remanded a district court’s ruling in favor of a disability claimant after determining that an abuse-of-discretion standard of review applies because the law of Pennsylvania and not the law of Colorado, which bans discretionary authority provisions, applies (Michael D. Ellis v. Liberty Life Assurance Company of Boston, No. 19-1074, 10th Cir.).

  • May 12, 2020

    Doctor’s Disability Benefits Suit Dismissed Following Request Of Parties

    RICHMOND, Va. — The Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeal on May 11 dismissed a doctor’s appeal in a disability benefits dispute after the parties reached a settlement (Avery Evans, M.D. v. Standard Insurance Co., et al., No. 20-1441, 4th Cir., 2020 U.S. App. LEXIS 15017).

  • May 12, 2020

    Remand To Plan Administrator Would Not Provide Disability Claimant With Any Relief

    BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — An Alabama federal judge May 7 denied a disability claimant’s motion to remand his claim to the plan administrator to consider a Social Security Disability Income (SSDI) award issued after the plan administrator denied the claimant’s appeal because remand would not provide the claimant with any relief (Rickey Cofield v. The Hartford, No. 18-607, N.D. Ala., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 80663).

  • May 07, 2020

    Disability Claimant’s Suit Reopened Following Denial Of Benefits On Remand

    ASHLAND, Ky. — A Kentucky federal judge on May 6 granted a disability claimant’s motion to reopen his case after determining that the request was appropriate given that the court already remanded the long-term disability (LTD) claim and life insurance with waiver of premium (LWOP) claim to the disability plan administrator (Lewis Bustetter v. Standard Insurance Co., No. 18-1, E.D. Ky., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 79785).

  • May 06, 2020

    Denial Of LTD Benefits Supported By Medical Evidence, New York Federal Judge Says

    ALBANY, N.Y. — A disability insurer’s denial of long-term disability (LTD) benefits based on its conclusion that the claimant is not disabled from performing the duties of his own occupation is supported by the medical evidence, a New York federal judge said May 5 in granting the insurer’s motion for summary judgment (Lucien Catania v. First Unum Life Insurance Co., No. 19-133, N.D. N.Y., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 78681).

  • May 06, 2020

    Disability Insurer’s Denial Of Benefits Was Arbitrary, Capricious, Judge Says

    COLUMBUS, Ohio — An Ohio federal judge on May 4 granted judgment in favor of a disability claimant after determining  that the disability insurer’s denial of long-term disability (LTD) benefits was arbitrary and capricious because the objective medical evidence supports a finding that the claimant was disabled from her own occupation (Catherine Miller v. Aetna Life Insurance Co., No 19-500, S.D. Ohio, 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 78457).

  • May 06, 2020

    Disability Insurer Sued For Bad Faith After Denying Physician’s Benefits Claim

    DETROIT — A disability insurer breached the terms of four policies it issued to a physician who was injured while removing a storage container from the roof of his vehicle and acted in bad faith in denying the insured’s claim for disability benefits, the insured argues in a complaint filed May 5 in Michigan federal court (Adam J. Rosh, M.D. v. The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America, No. 20-11081, E.D. Mich.).

  • May 06, 2020

    Magistrate Judge Says State Law Claims Proceed, ERISA Does Not Govern LTD Policy

    TUCSON, Ariz. — A federal magistrate judge on April 30 recommended denying a disability insurer’s motion to dismiss an insured’s state law breach of contract and bad faith claims after concluding that the long-term disability (LTD) policy is not governed by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (Robert Luke Adams v. Symetra Life Insurance Co., No. 18-378, D. Ariz., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 77851).

  • May 06, 2020

    Disability Insurer’s Decision To Terminate Benefits Was Not Wrong, Judge Says

    ATLANTA — A Georgia federal judge on March 24 denied a disability claimant’s motion for summary judgment and granted a disability insurer’s motion for judgment on the administrative record after determining that the insurer’s decision to retroactively terminate the claimant’s benefits was not wrong (Eddie R. Rush v. Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada, No. 18-4095, N.D. Ga., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 73966).

  • May 04, 2020

    Motion To Dismiss Denied; Disability Claimant Failed To Show Joinder Is Necessary

    PHOENIX — An Arizona federal judge on May 1 denied a disability claimant’s motion to dismiss after determining that it is not necessary to join all the underwriters to a declaratory judgment suit filed by one of the underwriters because the claimant failed to prove that the other underwriters’ rights would be impaired if they were not joined as parties (Liberty Corporate Capital Ltd., v. Jill Marie Steigleman, No. 19-5698, D. Ariz., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 76979).

  • April 30, 2020

    State Law Claims Not Preempted By ERISA; Disability Suit Remanded To State Court

    CAMDEN, N.J. — A New Jersey federal judge on April 29 remanded a disability suit after determining that federal jurisdiction does not exist because the claimant’s state law claims are not preempted by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (Linda Newton v. South Jersey Paper Products Co. Inc., No. 19-17289, D. N.J., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 75477).

  • April 29, 2020

    Discovery Ruling On Financial Conflict Of Interest Was Contrary To Law, Judge Says

    SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A California federal judge on April 27 granted a disability claimant’s motion for reconsideration after determining that a magistrate judge’s discovery ruling on the disability plan’s alleged financial conflict of interest was contrary to law (Ruby Chacko v. AT&T Umbrella Benefit Plan No. 3, No. 19-1837, E.D.  Calif., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 73816).

  • April 28, 2020

    Disability Claimant Says Insurer Failed To Show Documents Should Be Sealed

    CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. — A district court should deny a disability insurer’s request to file documents under seal because the insurer failed to present a compelling reason to limit public access to the documents, a disability claimant says in an April 23 reply brief (Janet Mitchell v. Unum Life Insurance Company of America, et al., No. 18-94, E.D. Tenn.).

  • April 23, 2020

    Disability Claimant’s Suit To Remain In Federal Court, Federal Judge Says

    DENVER — A Colorado federal judge on April 22 denied a disability claimant’s motion to  remand her breach of contract and bad faith suit after determining that the disability insurer met its burden of showing by a preponderance of the evidence that the amount in controversy exceeds the federal jurisdictional minimum of $75,000 (Angela Carney v. Anthem Life Insurance Co., No. 19-3075, D. Colo., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 70710).

  • April 21, 2020

    California Federal Judge: Disability Income Insurer Properly Terminated Benefits

    LOS ANGELES — A disability income insurer properly terminated an insured’s benefits after the insured reached his 65th birthday because the policy provided benefits only until the insured’s 65th birthday and not until the policy expired, a California federal judge said April 20 in granting the insurer’s motion for judgment on the pleadings (Paul Stull v. Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Co., No. 19-1618, C.D. Calif., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 69025).

  • April 20, 2020

    Termination Of LTD Benefits Supported By Substantial Evidence

    BATON ROUGE, La. — A Louisiana federal judge on March 30 granted a disability insurer’s motion for summary judgment after determining that the disability insurer’s termination of long-term disability (LTD) benefits was not arbitrary and capricious but rather was supported by substantial evidence (Wendy Chisholm v. The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America, No. 18-728, M.D. La., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 54983).

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