Mealey's Disability Insurance

  • June 03, 2020

    Maryland Federal Judge Says More Than $45K Owed For Own-Occupation Benefits

    BALTIMORE — A Maryland federal judge on June 1 remanded a claim for any-occupation disability benefits to the plan administrator and determined that the disability claimant is owed more than $45,000 in own-occupation disability benefits (Dana Krysztofiak v. Boston Mutual Life Insurance Co., No. 19-0879, D. Md., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 96088).

  • June 03, 2020

    Disability Insurer’s Termination Of Benefits Was Not Arbitrary, Capricious

    FLINT, Mich. — A Michigan federal judge on May 29 granted a disability insurer’s motion for judgment on the administrative record after determining that the insurer’s termination of disability benefits was support by the medical evidence and was not arbitrary or capricious (Amy Flores v. Unum Life Insurance Company of America, No. 19-11358, E.D. Mich., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 93822).

  • June 01, 2020

    Disability Claimant Met Burden Of Proving She Was Disabled From Own Occupation

    NEW ORLEANS — A Louisiana federal judge on May 20 reinstated a disability claimant’s short-term disability (STD) and long-term disability (LTD) benefits after determining that the claimant met her burden of proving that she was disabled from performing the duties of her own occupation (Kim Williams Bayer v. Unum Life Insurance Company of America, et al., No. 18-9702, E.D. La., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 88509).

  • May 27, 2020

    Sufficient Medical Evidence Supported Termination Of LTD Benefits, Judge Says

    LITTLE ROCK, Ark.  — An Arkansas federal judge on May 21 determined that a disability insurer’s termination of benefits under a plan’s any-occupation standard was not an abuse of discretion because sufficient medical evidence supported the termination (Johnnie Crites v. Aetna Life Insurance Co., No. 19-98, E.D. Ark., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 90422).

  • May 27, 2020

    Issues Of Fact In Disability Benefits Suit Preclude Ruling On Summary Judgment Motions

    BROOKLYN, N.Y. — A New York federal judge on May 22 denied motions for summary judgment in a disability income benefits dispute after determining that issues of fact exist regarding whether the claimant was capable of returning to work (Denise Garrett v. Provident Life and Casualty Insurance Co., No. 11-133, E.D. N.Y., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 90926).

  • May 22, 2020

    Remand Denied; Disability Insurer Met Burden Of Proving Damages Exceed $75K

    PHOENIX — An Arizona federal judge on May 19 denied a motion to remand a disability benefits dispute after determining that the insurer met its burden of proving that the amount in controversy exceeds $75,000, when damages for alleged bad faith conduct and attorney fees are factored into the claimant’s potential recovery (Dennis M. Treon v. Aetna Life Insurance Co., et al., No. 20-529, D. Ariz., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 87731).

  • 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).

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