Recently, three separate lawsuits were filed in California and Alabama against Unum Life Insurance Company of America for the improper termination or denial of long term disability benefits. For each of these individuals, the lawsuits, which were filed with the help of their respective disability lawyers, was their final hope to a just outcome after being denied benefits by Unum.
The Plaintiff, Cynthia B., has filed this lawsuit against Unum because her long term disability benefits, originally approved by Unum, were terminated against the terms of the Plan. Plaintiff was working as a clerk in a sleep laboratory at Brookwood Hospital until October 6, 2009, when she was forced to stop working because of multiple medical problems, including lower back, hip and leg pain, and severe arthritis in her right knee.
Plaintiff has filed this lawsuit because all of her administrative remedies have been exhausted.
First California Case
The Plaintiff, Robin R., has entered this lawsuit against First Unum Life Insurance Company (Unum) and Viacom Inc. Long Term Disability Plan (Viacom) because her long term disability benefit payments were abruptly terminated after being approved by Unum. Plaintiff was employed by Paramount Studios, a division of Viacom Inc., making her eligible to be covered under the Viacom Inc. Long Term Disability Plan.
Plaintiff suffered a disability and filed for LTD benefits, which Unum initially approved. However, on December 20, 2010, Unum denied future LTD benefits based on the reason that the medical information indicates that Plaintiff’s medical condition no longer fits the Plan’s definition of “disabled.” This is despite the fact that Plaintiff’s condition has not improved within that time period or even the present time.
Due to exhausting all administrative remedies, Plaintiff was forced to file this lawsuit against Unum and Viacom.
Western District of California Case
The Plaintiff, Lilia P, has filed this lawsuit against Unum Life Insurance Company of America (Unum) and Midwest Television Inc., Group Disability Benefit Plan (Midwest Television) because she never received long term disability benefits as she should have under the terms of the Plan. Plaintiff worked at Midwest Television Inc. as a program traffic coordinator. She became disabled as defined by the terms of the Plan on September 21, 2010.
She filed an application for benefits under the Plan, but Unum rejected her claim on or about January 28, 2011. Plaintiff filed a timely appeal of this denial, but Unum rejected the appeal via dated letter August 9, 2011. Due to exhausting all administrative appeals, this lawsuit was filed against Unum and Midwest Television.
Merits of Lawsuits Against Unum
Plaintiffs claim that Unum did not properly evaluate and weigh the medical evidence presented to them regarding the Plaintiffs’ medical conditions. Unum also violated ERISA and breached the respective Plans by failing to pay the expected benefits as defined by the terms of the respective Plans. Unum also did not provide reasonable explanations of why the Plaintiffs’ respective claims were denied or abruptly terminated after being initially accepted.
Relief Sought By Plaintiffs Against Unum and Defendants
In the respective lawsuits, the Plaintiffs ask for the following relief from the respective Courts:
- Payment of disability benefits owed to the Plaintiffs
- Immediate reinstatement of the Plaintiffs’ eligibility under their respective Plans, granting benefits to them for so long as they remain eligible under the terms of their respective Plans
- Payment of all associated court costs
- Payment of all reasonable attorney fees
- Payment of all prejudgment and postjudgment interest on all owed benefit payments
- Payment of all other relief deemed just and proper by the respective Courts