Recently, an Arizona disability attorney filed a lawsuit in the Federal Court of Arizona against the Standard Insurance Company (Standard) after the Standard wrongfully withheld long term disability benefits.
The Plaintiff, Veronica C., worked as an Executive Administrative Assistant for the Cliff Castle Casino dba Yavapai Apache Nation (Cliff Castle Casino), who contracted with Standard Insurance Company of New York to provide long-term disability benefit payments.
Case Facts Against Standard Life Insurance Company
Plaintiff worked for Cliff Castle Casino until March 25, 2008 when she became disabled due to her degenerative and traumatic injuries. Due to her employment, the Plaintiff was covered by the Yavapai Apache Nation Long-Term Disability Plan. She filed for short-term disability benefits with Standard, the Administrator of the policy, on May 6, 2008. Short-term disability benefits were granted on May 19, 2008. Plaintiff filed for long-term disability benefits on June 26, 2008.
Standard Denies Long-Term Disability Benefits Claim
On August 20, 2008, Standard denied Plaintiff’s request for long-term disability benefits. The letter sent allowed the Plaintiff to appeal this decision for 180 days afterwards.
On September 16, 2008, Plaintiff requested an administrative review of the denial of benefits. In a letter dated December 10, 2008, Standard overturns initial decision and grants long-term disability benefits through September 24, 2008.
On January 16, 2009, Plaintiff requested an administrative review of the denial of benefits from September 25, 2008 onward. In a letter dated April 24, 2009, Standard upheld the denial of long-term disability benefits from September 25, 2008 onward.
The disability standard according to the Policy required the Plaintiff to be unable to perform the duties required under her “own occupation.” If met, the monthly benefit to be paid would be $2,001.03.
Plaintiff requested administrative remedies on August 5, 2009, supplying additional information, including medical records, to substantiate her case that she was totally disabled according to the terms of the Policy. Additionally, the Social Security Administration issued a fully favorable decision on the Plaintiff’s claim of total disability.
On October 6, 2009. Standard reaffirmed its original decision to deny long-term disability benefits to the Plaintiff.
Due to exhausting all administrative remedies, Plaintiff has filed this lawsuit against Standard.
Lawsuit Filed Against Standard by Arizona Disability Attorney
According to the lawsuit, Plaintiff alleged that Standard failed to provide the following to the plaintiff:
- Its contractual obligations to the Plaintiff as defined under the Policy
- The full benefits that are defined in the Policy
- Full evaluation of Plaintiff’s medical condition that has led to her current condition of being unable to work in her own or in any occupation
Standard Lawsuit Seeks Following Relief For Plaintiff
Due to Standard’s actions, Plaintiff wants the following relief from the Court:
- A judgment of declaratory and injunctive relief that entitles Plaintiff to all past-due short-term and long-term disability benefits that have not been paid, as well as all payments that are to come as long as Plaintiff remains totally disabled as defined by the Policy or remains under benefit termination age as defined by the Policy
- Punitive damages that are proven at trial
- A sum of $1,500.00 for attorneys’ fees if the Plaintiff defaults on that payment
- All reasonable attorney fees and court costs
- All pre-judgment and post-judgment interest
- All other relief that the Court finds just and proper