This case was significant for several reasons. This client came to us for help years after his insurance company denied his benefits. In fact, the insurance company terminated the client’s benefits in 2013, at which point he hired another law firm to assist him with an internal appeal. Unfortunately, that was unsuccessful and the client was forced to sue in 2015. By the time the client was referred to us by his former attorney, the case had already been submitted to the judge and the client was simply waiting for the judge to enter his ruling. A month after the client came to us, the judge ruled against the client and for the insurance company, Liberty Life Assurance Company of Boston, finding that (under the abuse of discretion standard), the insurance company’s decision to terminate the client’s benefits was reasonable. The judge then dismissed the client’s case. That’s when the attorneys at McDermott Law went to work.
Analyzing the judge’s decision, McDermott Law attorneys Shawn McDermott and Timothy Garvey, realized the judge made a mistake when he applied the abuse of discretion standard, which made him reach the wrong decision. So, the attorneys at McDermott Law sprung into action and asked the judge to reconsider his order. For obvious reasons, judges rarely agree to do so, but McDermott Law believed asking anyway was the right thing to do and could potentially save the client another years-long battle in the court of appeals.
Just three months after the attorneys at McDermott Law took over and asked the judge to reconsider his order, he agreed to do so. In fact, the judge reversed his prior decision and entered judgment in our client’s favor, ordering Liberty Life (now part of the Lincoln Financial family) to pay the client’s disability benefits from December 4, 2013 and continuing until he reaches age 65. Better yet, the judge awarded our client his costs and instructed McDermott Law to file a motion for interest and attorneys’ fees. In taking the extraordinary step of reversing his prior decision, the judge repeatedly referred to the advocacy presented by McDermott Law, which compelled him to reverse his decision and rule in our client’s favor.