The disability insurance attorneys at the Law Office of Shawn E. McDermott prevailed in a recent ERISA appeal filed on behalf of their client when Life Insurance Company of North America (LINA), a subsidiary of CIGNA, wrongfully terminated his long-term disability benefits.
In the claim against LINA, Mr B was originally rendered disabled by bladder cancer which had gone into remission. However, at the time of the termination of long-term disability benefits, he began suffering from severe pulmonary symptoms and was diagnosed with COPD and emphysema. He underwent a series of pulmonary tests, physical therapy and pain management to treat his disabling conditions.
Attorney Shawn E. McDermott and Heather Petitmermet filed an appeal of behalf of our client in October 2010. In our appeal, we were able to illustrate to the insurance company that our client was indeed disabled and unable to perform the material and essential duties of his occupation.
LINA disregarded the appeal and we were eventually required to file suit on behalf of our client. Because LINA’s decision was not timely and therefore its appeal procedures had not adhered to the required deadlines, any deference to which the insurer may have been entitled would likely have been lost and the court would have provided a more favorable standard for reviewing the claim termination. Whether this was the reason, or because LINA actually reached the correct decision upon receiving the appeal submitted by our office, shortly after our filing the lawsuit LINA reversed its position and determined that our client was indeed entitled to benefits. Our client is now receiving his monthly disability benefits from LINA.