Liberty Life claimant Douglas W. and his North Carolina disability attorney filed a lawsuit against Liberty Life Assurance Company of Boston to enforce Douglas’ right to disability benefits under the Employee Retirement Insurance Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) as allowed by 29 U.S.C. §1132.
Background of North Carolina Claimants Lawsuit
As an Internet Sales and Customer Service Representative for Replacements, Ltd, Douglas performed both sedentary work at a computer and physical labor assistance in the company’s warehouse. A victim of cervical spinal stenosis and severe nerve damage caused by compression of the spine, Douglas underwent an unsuccessful surgery in 2007, but returned to work anyway. Approximately one year after the surgery, Douglas began to suffer “severe numbness in his hand, suffered severe pain from walking and sitting, and began suffering migraine headaches,” which ultimately led to Douglas being disabled from performing his job duties. In fact, Douglas’ employer and his plan sponsor wrote to Liberty Life that Douglas was indeed unable to perform his work duties and should be considered disabled from performing his job.
Claimant’s Disability Benefits are Discontinued
In August of 2007, Douglas did receive disability benefits from the insurer, however, in 2010, Liberty Life terminated Douglas’ benefits. After appealing the decision, Douglas learned that the insurer was not to be swayed from its decision, and Douglas exhausted all administrative appeals which led to the filing of his complaint by his North Carolina disability attorney to force Liberty Life to make good on their contract with Douglas.
Thus, Douglas and his North Carolina disability attorney have petitioned the North Carolina District Court to correct the situation and award Douglas:
- Declaratory and injunctive relief in the form of long term disability benefits;
- All reasonable attorney fees and expenses incurred as a result of this suit and the wrongful termination of Douglas’s benefits; and
- Any other relief “as may be just and appropriate.”