Legal Updates

Multiple Sclerosis Flares & Disability

A multiple sclerosis "flare" is a sudden worsening of one or more symptoms of the disease or the appearance of new symptoms which can last anywhere from days to weeks to months.  These exacerbations although temporary can be disabling, precluding a patient from gainful employment. Many clients who apply for disability benefits may be observed by an insurance company during a period when a patient is not experiencing a MS "flare."  However, since these "flares" can occur as frequently as once a month, a worker may be precluded from continuous gainful employment because the worsening or new symptoms frequently causes a [...]

By |2011-09-08T11:23:01+00:00September 8th, 2011|Legal Updates|0 Comments

Multiple Sclerosis Cognitive Dysfunction & Disability Insurance Claims

In addition to the very obvious physical symptoms of multiple sclerosis, such as loss of muscle function, problems with walking, vision disturbances, tremors, etc., there is a more debilitating symptom that often goes unnoticed - that of cognitive dysfunction.  This is separate and apart from the symptoms of fatigue and depression which also plague the MS patient. Common Disabling Conditions of Cognitive Dysfunction slowed speed of performance ability to retrieve memory affected reduced ability to recall words slowness in thinking impaired planning skills All of these non-physical impairments are not easily observable but have the most detrimental affect on being able to [...]

By |2011-09-07T10:38:18+00:00September 7th, 2011|Legal Updates|0 Comments

UNUM & Paul Revere Life Insurance hit with 4.2 Million Verdict

A Los Angeles Superior Court jury awarded plaintiff Laura Kieffer 4.2 million in damages in her civil lawsuit against Paul Revere Life Insurance Company and Unum Group.  The award represented $600,000 in past and future disability benefits, $600,000 in emotion distress and $3 million in punitive damages. Ms. Kieffer was a dental hygenist in 1988 when she purchased an individual disability policy from Paul Revere.  Beginning in 1996 she developed several disabling medical conditions, including carpel tunnel syndrome and cervical pain radiating into her upper extremities, preventing her from being able to perform the repetitive motions and fine hand manipulations [...]

By |2011-05-27T08:32:13+00:00May 27th, 2011|Insurance Companies, Legal Updates|0 Comments

Hartford Insurance Company Found To Have Abused Its Discretion In Termination of Long Term Disability Benefits

Ms. Mennucci underwent spinal fusion surgery for cervical neck pain that radiated into her right arm. Hartford initially paid short term and long term disability benefits to Mennucci. However, when she failed to fully recover from her surgery and complained of continuing neck pain radiating into her right shoulder Hartford Insurance terminated her benefits based on a medical record review by Dr. Richard Kaplan.

By |2011-01-24T14:49:31+00:00January 24th, 2011|Insurance Companies, Legal Updates|0 Comments

Life Insurance Company of North America (LINA) Required To Cover Accidental Death of Intoxicated Driver in California

Courts across the country have struggled with whether an accidental death insurance policy covers the death of a drunk driver.  Some courts have ruled that intoxicated drivers knowingly increase the risk of being involved in a fatal accident to the point that their death becomes foreseeable and thus, not accidental.  Other courts disagree, citing the fact that there is less than a 1% chance of an intoxicated driver being involved in a fatal accident. […]

By |2011-01-07T14:19:31+00:00January 7th, 2011|Insurance Companies, Legal Updates|Comments Off on Life Insurance Company of North America (LINA) Required To Cover Accidental Death of Intoxicated Driver in California

Metropolitan Life Insurance Company Taken To Task For Ignoring Subjective Evidence of Pain

Ms. Holmstrom suffered from a painful nerve condition in her right arm which did not resolve even after three surgeries.  She was left with an incurable diagnosis of complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS).  MetLife paid benefits until the definition of disability changed from an inability to perform the material duties of one’s own occupation to that of any occupation.  MetLife cited the lack of any objective evidence to support Ms. Holmstrom’s diagnosis of CRPS. […]

By |2011-01-07T13:10:17+00:00January 7th, 2011|Insurance Companies, Legal Updates|0 Comments

My Disability Erisa Claim Has Been Denied – What Are My Next Steps?

You receive a letter from your insurance company advising you that your disability claim is denied or terminated.   After the initial shock wears off, here are the steps you should take to obtain your disability benefits. Step 1 – Do not request an appeal before you collect all necessary paperwork for your claim. All too often, one’s first reaction is to write their insurance provider telling them they have made a mistake and asking them to reconsider your claim.  While you will eventually speak to your insurance provider about your claim denial, you must first take these additional steps. [...]

By |2010-07-08T19:47:00+00:00July 8th, 2010|Legal Updates|0 Comments

My Space, Facebook Could Damage Disability Case

Facebook, Twitter, My Space, etc. (collectively referred to as social media sites) are popular with people of all age groups. Long term disability insurance companies and their attorneys use these sites also, to get information about YOU. There may be valuable information about you on these sites that could severely damage your long term disability claim. […]

By |2009-10-15T19:55:00+00:00October 15th, 2009|Legal Updates|0 Comments

Lump Sum In Lieu of Future Disability Payments?

Frequently an insurance company that has been paying monthly disability payments to you will offer to cash you out. What this means is that in lieu of the future monthly disability benefit payments they will offer to fully discharge the future obligations by paying you a lump sum of money. You will receive a letter from them outlining what will be paid and how the amount will be calculated. Before agreeing to settle on this amount, several factors need to be assessed such as the present value of your claim; your statistical life expectancy; and the anticipated future interest rates. [...]

By |2009-07-16T15:30:00+00:00July 16th, 2009|Legal Updates|0 Comments

Death Caused by Accidental Overdose of Prescription Drug is Covered Under an Accidental Death Policy

Accidental death policies, by definition, provide benefits when the insured dies as the result of an accident. However, not all accidents are covered since most policies have exclusions limiting the type of accidents that will be covered. State Insurance Codes have placed limitations on what exclusions an insurance company can place in such policies. […]

By |2008-12-02T18:49:00+00:00December 2nd, 2008|Legal Updates|0 Comments
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