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MCDERMOTT LAW WINS REVERSAL OF COURT DECISION FOR LTD CLIENT

February 19, 2019

On January 15, 2019, the attorneys at McDermott Law succeeded in having a federal court judge order the payment of our client’s long-term disability benefits after a five-year fight. 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…

Termination from Employment Even as a Result of Disability Can Impact Your Coverage

February 6, 2019

Some disability benefit plans require that the claimant remain employed, even in inactive status, in order to receive benefits. In these situations, an employee may need to have their Family Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”) approved to protect their employment status in order to be eligible for disability benefits. However, an employer may still terminate an…

Suicide Exclusion and Intoxication – New Colorado Supreme Court Decision Concerning Denied Life Insurance Claim

June 4, 2018

On June 4, 2018, the Colorado Supreme Court issued its opinion in Renfandt v. New York Life Insurance Company, 2018 CO 49, holding, “under Colorado law, a life insurance policy exclusion for ‘suicide, sane or insane’ excludes coverage only if the insured, whether sane or insane at the time, committed an act of self-destruction with the intent…

DISCOVERY CLEARLY PERMISSIBLE IN THE 10TH CIRCUIT ACCORDING TO RECENT RULINGS

January 7, 2012

I previously blogged about the 10th Circuit’s decision in Murphy v. DeLoite & Touche and the permissible scope of discovery in claims governed by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (“ERISA”). (Click here for prior post.) Although many of our local judges in the federal court in Colorado previously allowed at least some discovery sought…

EMPLOYERS NEED TO PAY BETTER ATTENTION TO THE LONG-TERM DISABILITY POLICIES THEY ARE ACTUALLY PURCHASING! SOME OF THESE POLICIES DON’T ADD UP TO MUCH

January 7, 2012

Every employer-provided long-term disability policy I have reviewed in the past ten years contains some sort of limitation on conditions for which disability benefits can be granted or the duration of those benefits. The most common type of limitation seen in a long-term disability policy relates to “mental disorders,” “substance abuse,” and a general provision…

TEXAS JOINS STATES OUTLAWING DISCRETIONARY CLAUSES

February 27, 2011

The Texas Department of Insurance has adopted a new rule prohibiting discretionary clauses in disability insurance policies. Texas now joins the growing list of a number of states which have undertaken similar action. The ban applies to group life and disability policies and is similar to Colorado’s ban on discretionary clauses as found in C.R.S.…

10th CIRCUIT FINALLY ADDRESSES ISSUE OF DISCOVERY IN ERISA CASES

January 14, 2011

As attorneys representing claimants whose disability, health or life benefits have been denied, we have grown accustomed to waging a battle over the ability to engage in discovery of information outside of the so called administrative record in cases governed by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (“ERISA”). Generally, the law in the 10th Circuit…

FEDERAL COURT AWARDS ATTORNEY’S FEES IN ERISA LTD CASE

January 14, 2011

A Federal Court Magistrate Judge recently ordered Qwest Disability Plan to pay Plaintiff’s attorney’s fees in an action pending in the United States District Court for the District of Colorado. In Robin Cross v. Qwest Disability Plan, Magistrate Judge Kathleen M. Tafoya awarded attorney’s fees in favor of Plaintiff Cross whose disability benefits had been…

ERISA’s Exemption for Governmental Plans and Right to Jury Trial – According to the Tenth

February 3, 2010

The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals recently issued a decision addressing two ERISA issues: (1) what constitutes a “governmental plan;” and (2) the right to trial by jury. These issues were addressed in the case of Shirley Graham v. Hartford Life and Accident Insurance Company, 589 F.3d 1345 (10th Cir. 2009), decided December 29, 2009.…

FAVORABLE RULINGS RECEIVED IN PERA DISABILITY CLAIM

February 3, 2010

This office handles a great many number of claims on behalf of PERA Members who are seeking disability benefits. The PERA Disability Program is administered by Standard Insurance Company. For a more detailed discussion of PERA issues, please refer to the PERA disability section of our website by clicking here. This office recently concluded litigation in…