Assistant Nurse For University Of North Carolina Hospitals Denied Disability Benefits By Liberty Life Despite Two Back Surgeries

The plaintiff Vanessa Jackson was employed as an assistant nurse for the University of North Carolina Hospitals. In the lawsuit against Liberty Mutual filed by a North Carolina Disability Lawyer, it was stated that the plaintiff’s primary duties as assistant nurse included providing bed baths to patients, transferring patients, assisting patients with feeding, toileting, and other personal care tasks. In addition, the plaintiff was also required to help support the weight of adult patients, usually in excess of 100 pounds, and often including obese patients. By virtue of her employment, the plaintiff was a participant in a group disability benefit insurance policy issued by Liberty Life on March 1, 1995.

On January 26th 2005, the plaintiff suffered an injury and became disabled as defined under the terms of the policy. The plaintiff sustained a job related injury which resulted in nerve damage in her back including the damage to her sciatic nerve and to the L4–5 and L5-S1 sections of her back while she was lifting a patient. As a result of this injury, the plaintiff could no longer perform all the material duties of her occupation as a Nurse Assistant or any other occupation.

Consequently, the plaintiff underwent two back surgeries, one as recent as early 2010. She was directed by her physician not work on April 2010. In addition, the plaintiff had to take a number of medications for her medical condition including hydrocodone. Since the injury, the plaintiff had been and still is under the care of a physician for her injury. The end result for the plaintiff was that the plaintiff had to stop working.

Termination Of Disability Benefits By Liberty Life

Subsequently, the plaintiff made a timely claim for long term disability benefits with Liberty Life. It was stated in the lawsuit that the plaintiff was initially paid these disability benefits. However, Liberty Life terminated the plaintiff’s long term disability benefits around December 2009. The termination was despite the fact that Liberty Life’s physician’s office had indicated that the plaintiff was unable to work in a letter dated December 23rd 2009. In addition, the plaintiff also underwent another surgery in early 2010 for the very conditions that rendered her unable to work.

Lawsuit by the Plaintiff and North Carolina Disability Insurance Lawyer

A North Carolina disability attorney recently filed a lawsuit in the General Court Of Justice, Superior Court Division, on behalf of a client against the Liberty Life Assurance of Boston (Liberty Life). In the case of Vanessa Jackson vs. Liberty Life Assurance Company of Boston, the plaintiff alleged that Liberty’s failure to pay her long term disability benefits under a group disability insurance policy was a breach of contract.

The plaintiff alleged that due to the denial of long term disability benefits, she had suffered damages in excess of $10,000 and is seeking from the Court the following remedies:

  • Compensatory Damages from Liberty Life in excess of $10,000.
  • An award of reasonable attorneys’ fees taxed against Liberty Life.
  • An award of such other and further relief as the Court may deem just and proper.

The plaintiff in the above mentioned case also demanded a trial by Jury.