In Joan Clark v. Unum Life Insurance Company of America and Unum Group Corporation (Unum), Clark worked approximately 33 years for Aerospace Testing Alliance (ATA) in Tullahoma, Tennessee, as an instrument technician. For about half of those years, she suffered from systemic lupus erythematosus (lupus). Except for a short time in 2012, she continued to work.
In 2016, due to the worsening of her condition, she quit work on the advice of her physician and applied for long-term disability (LTD) benefits. Despite Clark providing reams of medical evidence to support her disability, Unum denied her claim based on reports by its own reviewing physicians. Even though the plan granted authority to the administrator to require Clark to undergo an independent physical examination, it did not do so.