Disability Benefits

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Judge questions distinction set for types of illness

Chief U.S. District Judge William Young, the author of the provocative indictment of the claims practices of the Unum Provident Corp. in Radford Trust v. First Unum Life Insurance Company of America, 321 F.Supp.2d 226 (D. Mass. 2004), has written yet another thoughtful opinion. The ruling in Iwata v. Intel Corp., 2004 U.S. Dist. LEXIS […]

Judge takes aim at disability insurers, ERISA

In a stinging decision against an arm of the major worker disability insurer Unum Provident Corp., a federal judge charged that the Employee Retirement Income Security Act falls well short of its goals. The plaintiff, Radford Trust to which a worker’s claim was assigned, brought an ERISA claim on behalf of the trust’s beneficiary, identified […]

5th Circuit stands alone on degree of disability

After winning summary judgment in the trial court, plaintiff Linda Ellis suffered a crushing defeat in the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which rejected her claim for disability coverage.Ellis v. Liberty Life Assurance Company of Boston, 2004 U.S.App.LEXIS 24199 (5th Cir., Nov. 19). Ellis was a loan officer for Chase Manhattan Bank until 1999, […]

Disability claims will falter without specifics

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals’ ruling in Jordan v. Northrop Grumman Corp. Welfare Benefit Plan, 2004 U.S.App.LEXIS 10626 (June 1), is one of those cases where plaintiff lawyers are able to learn an important lesson even though this particular plaintiff was unsuccessful. Vicki Jordan, an administrative secretary for Northrop Grumman, alleged disability due […]