In Melissa Vacarro v. Liberty Life Assurance Company of Boston, Melissa Vacarro was employed by NetApp Inc., when she began suffering from fatigue, pain and deteriorating cognitive abilities, particularly in the areas of memory and comprehension. She applied for disability benefits with Liberty, the disability insurer for her employer.

As an “HR Program Manger 5,” Plaintiff claimed to be a Class I employee. Liberty also covered Class II employees, which had a different and more stringent definition of long-term disability after the first 24 months of disability that the one for Class I employees.
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Roy Neil Johnston, M.D. v. Aetna Life Insurance Company involves the scope of permissible discovery in an ERISA lawsuit brought when an insurer terminates a claimant’s short-term disability benefits and denies him long-term disability benefits. Aetna initially found Johnston disabled based on the opinion of its own independent neurologist. Apparently, Aetna’s medical review found Johnston to be disabled, but it denied disability benefits based on a surveillance video.
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In Cruz-Baca v. Edison International Long Term Disability Plan, an ERISA plan, Plaintiff was employed by Southern California Edison Company (“SCE”) as a Customer Specialist 2, and, as an employee, was eligible to participate in the Plan. On October 15, 2010, Plaintiff left work due to her chronic pain and rheumatoid arthritis, and applied for benefits through SCE’s Comprehensive Disability Program (“CDP”). Plaintiff was found to be disabled, and her short term disability benefits were approved, effective October 15, 2010. Plaintiff was approved for Long Term Disability (“LTD”) benefits under the Plan, effective April 14, 2011, after satisfying the six month qualifying period. The Plan terminated Plaintiff’s benefits on May 19, 2014 because it was determined that she no longer satisfied the Plan’s definition of disabled. Plaintiff appealed the termination of her benefits, and the Plan denied Plaintiff’s appeal.
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In Hariri v. Reliance Standard Life Insurance Company, Roxy Hariri, a former California Deputy District Attorney filed suit against Reliance asserting “claims for breach of contract and breach of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing under California law.” Reliance filed for Summary Judgment on the sole ground that provisions of the Employment Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) preempt the application of California law and therefore, Hariri’s lawsuit should be dismissed.
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In Marcin v. Reliance Standard Life Insurance Company, et al., Reliance appealed a ruling of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia in which the District Court found that Jill Marcin was entitled to long-term disability benefits in the amount of $2,409.74 a month plus interest and attorney’s fees. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled in favor of Marcin and upheld the ruling of the lower court.
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In this video, disability insurance lawyers Victor Pena and Gregory Dell discuss a recent Cigna denial and the courts rational for reinstating long term disability benefits. The courts found that Cigna abused their discretion and wrongfully denied benefits to a former Geico employee diagnosed with trigeminal neuralgia.

Cigna is known for denying long term claims; contact any of our lawyers for a free consultation to discuss your claim with Cigna.

In this video Attorneys Gregory Dell and Stephen Jessup discuss Cognitive Dysfunction Disorders in Long Term Disability Claims. The symptoms of cognitive impairment range from memory loss and slowed thinking skills to confusion and poor concentration. There are many factors that would cause or contribute to a disability insurance claimant to have issues with their cognitive functioning. Watch this video to learn about neuropsychological testing for cognitive deficits and what role testing plays in a disability insurance claim.

Please contact any of our lawyers for a free consultation.

It is a misconception that a disability insurance company must give weight to a favorable social security decision. The fact is, a disability insurance company does not have to be deferential to social security’s determination. However, it is in your best interest to ensure that the supportive evidence in the social security file submitted is received by the disability insurance company before the final appeal decision is made. Watch this video to learn more.

In this video Attorneys Gregory Dell & Rachel Alters discuss the process of filing an ERISA lawsuit with Prudential. For an ERISA lawsuit to be filed there is first a timeline of claim deadlines, and if you don’t file within that deadline, the Court can dismiss your case on the basis that the Statute of Limitations has expired. Watch this video to learn more about the ERISA process, deadlines, and terminology.

In this video Attorneys Gregory Dell & Victor Peña discuss a recent court decision in which the Illinois District court placed no significance on treating physician’s silence to biased opinion letter. The courts also criticized United of Omaha for failing to obtain independent examinations.