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Yet Another Unum Lawsuit Seeks Damages, Back Payments

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Pittston, PAYet another Unum lawsuit has been filed alleging unfair practices and denial of benefits by an insurer known for chronic denials, according to details of an action filed August 31 in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania.

Plaintiff in the case is Joseph J. Costello DPM, a licensed podiatrist whom, the Unum insurance lawsuit states, historically performed anywhere from 75 to 100 surgical procedures per year until a disability prevented his continuance as a surgeon. The plaintiff notes in his complaint that he was forced to drastically cut back his hours as a result.

According to the lawsuit, Costello was covered by "presumably three" disability insurance contracts with Unum—one of which accompanied the disability insurance lawsuit as filed. The accompanying document shows a policy that has been in force since 1992, with annual premiums showed at a level of $1,923.64 starting the year in which the policy was in force, before dropping slightly by 2015, and to a 'company rate' by 2025.

As stated in the Unum disability insurance lawsuit, the plaintiff's best recollection is that he applied for disability income under the provisions of his disability insurance policy in September 2009. He was denied. According to the lawsuit, Costello is entitled to a disability payment of $8,000 per month under the claim in question.

The defendant, Unum, counters that Costello has three separate claims pending. Two have been denied while a third, according to the defendant, is under partial payment.

The plaintiff states in his claim that he is owed in excess of $100,000 in back payments from the three Unum long-term disability insurance contracts in question. He is suing Unum Life Insurance Company of America for a sum in excess of $75,000 plus interest and costs.

Unum Group, known at various times as Unum Provident and First Unum, has been dogged by a history of claim denials. Over the years there have been accusations of systematic denials, regardless of the legitimacy of claims. Various allegations have held that Unum encouraged employees--and in some cases required claims handlers--to mine client lists for claims that could be denied or stonewalled in an effort to avoid payment regardless of the status of the policy.

Many a disgruntled policyholder has filed an Unum lawsuit alleging bad faith insurance practices. Joseph J. Costello, DPM v. Unum Life Insurance Company of America is Case 3:12-cv-01743-JMM.

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