Three lawsuits were recently filed against Unum in the states of Missouri, South Carolina and Texas after three claimants were denied disability benefits. With the help of disability attorneys, employees of J. Crew, Time Warner Cable, and a Texas Hospital will have their cases heard in Federal District Court. Let’s take a closer look at each case:
Unum in Missouri
J. Crew Group, Inc. employee, with the help of a Missouri disability attorney, filed suit against the company’s disability insurance provided, UNUM Life Insurance Co. of America on August 29, 2011 for termination of his disability benefits after providing him with long term disability benefits for two years.
J. Crew Employee James N. suffered a “traumatic brain injury in an automobile collision” on October 9, 2007. In April of 2010, UNUM abruptly terminated James’s benefits. James had been awarded Social Security disability benefit effective as of April 2008 and reported this to UNUM.
However UNUM, using the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) characterization of the brain trauma disability as an “organic mental disorder”, decided that James did not meet the criteria for being declared disabled because James’s disability policy does not cover mental disorders. Without taking into consideration the SSA’s determination of James as disabled or the fact that James has mental issues as a result of the traumatic brain injury, UNUM tried to get out of its obligation to pay James any more disability benefits.
Consequently, James was forced to hire a Missouri disability lawyer to fight this battle in the United Stated District Court Western District of Missouri Central Division. In the lawsuit, James and his Missouri disability lawyer, ask the Court to award James his entitled disability benefits from UNUM, recover all reasonable attorneys’ fees and costs plus interest.
UNUM Comes Under Fire in South Carolina over Denied Disability Claims
UNUM finds itself preparing for litigation in the South Carolina District Court Greenville Division on a similar issue in relation to the denial of a Time Warner Cable employee’s disability benefits. Erica D. and her South Carolina disability lawyer filed a lawsuit against the insurer for denial of her disability benefits as specified in her employee disability benefits plan, alleging that UNUM violated the Employee Retirement Insurance Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) by denying her disability benefits. Erica appealed her denial to UNUM and was denied until she had exhausted her administrative remedies which led to the filing of this lawsuit on August 26, 2011.
Alleging that the insurer operates under a conflict of interest in determining the awarding of disability benefits, Erica and her South Carolina disability lawyer petitioned the Court to declare that Erica is disabled per the specifications of her UNUM plan and is entitled to long term disability benefits in addition to pre-judgment interest, attorneys’ fees and court costs.
Texas Claimant and Her Texas Disability Attorney Sue UNUM
In Cherryl P. v. UNUM, Cherryl and her Texas disability attorney filed suit against UNUM Life Insurance Company of America on September 6, 2011 to retrieve her entitled disability benefits from the insurer. Filing their suit in the appropriate court, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, Beaumont Division, Cherryl and her Texas disability ask the Court to enter a judgment against UNUM and force the insurer to provide Cherryl her disability benefits, damages, pre-judgment and post-judgment interest, court costs and all reasonable and necessary attorney’s fees, and other relief allowed under Texas law.
An employee of Conroe Regional Medical Center and entitled to disability benefits, Cherryl has been unable to work since January 3, 2007. After petitioning UNUM to live up to its obligations, Cherryl has been denied her disability benefits since the time of her disability and now she and her Texas disability attorney look to the District Court to determine the outcome of her claim.