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Prudential Insurance Faces Denied Disability Lawsuit

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Dallas, TXA former doctor has filed a lawsuit against Prudential Insurance, alleging the insurer wrongly denied her long-term disability claim. The lawsuit alleges Prudential violated good faith and fair dealing in its refusal to approve the plaintiff’s benefits. Denied disability lawsuits can be filed against insurance companies that improperly deny or delay policyholders’ claims.

The S.E. Texas Record (8/19/15) reports that Irina Schmedes, a former Texas physician, filed a long-term disability claim with Prudential after she found she could not work. Prudential denied her claim and Schmedes filed the lawsuit in August 2015, alleging Prudential used improper disability standards.

See Video on Long Term Disability Denials

Meanwhile, Prudential Financial faces a class-action lawsuit filed by investors who accuse the company of misstating its liabilities by holding onto funds that should have been paid to beneficiaries. According to reports, US District Judge Madeline Cox Arleo approved the class action, which involved shareholders who purchased certain Prudential stock between May 5, 2010 and November 4, 2011.

The lawsuit alleged Prudential did not properly disclose death benefit liabilities in its reports for 2010 and only made those liabilities known in May 2011, after announcing it was being audited for not complying with unclaimed property laws. An investigation by California State Controller John Chiang reportedly found that some insurers knew about the death of a policyholder but did not let beneficiaries know that they could receive payouts on policies.

“It has been disclosed that the Company did not always use the SSA-DMF [Social Security Administration’s Death Master File] to cross-check whether death benefit payments are due under life insurance policies, annuity contracts or retained asset accounts, thus subjecting the Company to immediate liabilities for death benefits to policy beneficiaries…” the lawsuit states.

Plaintiffs allege that Prudential’s failure to pay beneficiaries or put the money to state unclaimed property funds made it seem that Prudential had strong income, despite actually having liabilities. The lawsuit was initially filed by the City of Sterling Heights General Employees’ Retirement System in 2012. In her ruling on class-action status, Judge Arleo named National Shopmen Pension Fund as the lead plaintiff.

The Schmedes lawsuit is case number 2:15-cv-01410-JRG-RSP in the Eastern District of Texas. The Prudential Financial lawsuit is City of Sterling Heights General Employees’ Retirement System v. Prudential Financial Inc. et al., case number 2:12-cv-05275, in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey.

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READER COMMENTS

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I filed in 1998 and the attorney handled the case till 2007. Prudential stated they needed more paperwork but did not include in their records all my medical papers such as x-rays taken from my back and disc problems. The attorney did a poor job and charged me $5,000 - $6,000 and although he said he knew ERISA laws and charged he did not send records or request records. I was terminated from my job after I sent in papers. I worked at NASDAQ 16 years but the Assistant Director worked a way through making calls to HR to get me terminated. I left with disk problems, shoulder rotor cuff injuries and unable to move my left side. The doctors denied and said this was not the case. I had an injury on job but because I filed after one year everything declined. I knew that Prudential and my employer changed my insurance and they said it was mental, but now I had all records obtained and state otherwise. My policy included retirement to continue with my disability and my 60-80% share. They only paid 2 months insurance and said I was terminated from work. My lawyer took the money and ran until 2007 when I ran out of money and he did not put the claim through ERISA. and wanted more and did nothing. Louisiana laws don't mention anything to get my back to ERISA because in 2007 and 2008 and 2009 they had no records.

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