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Cigna Faces Two New Denied Disability Lawsuits

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Pittsburgh, PAA woman injured in a car accident has filed a denied disability insurance lawsuit against Cigna, alleging the company improperly denied her disability claim. Meanwhile, a man in Louisiana has also filed a lawsuit against Cigna, also alleging he was improperly denied his long-term disability.

The Pennsylvania Record (1/26/16) reports Theresa Gladney was injured in a car accident on April 13, 2014, and was disabled as a result. Following the accident, Gladney was able to collect short-term disability from April 2014 to October 2014, when she should have been eligible for long-term disability. Although she was initially given long-term disability, in February 2015, Cigna determined Gladney was no longer considered disabled and ended the benefits.

Gladney says she has medical evidence of her disability, but was allegedly denied because a doctor did not return a phone call from Cigna.

Meanwhile, a Louisiana man has also filed a lawsuit against Cigna, alleging he was improperly denied his long-term disability benefits. The Louisiana Record (1/6/16) reports that Kyle A. Harless was working as a machinist when he dveloped fibromyalgia, Lyme disease and a chemical imbalance. Harless says in his lawsuit that he is entitled to around $1,400 a month but was denied his claim.

In 2013, Cigna agreed to settle allegations of wrongly denied disability claims with multiple states, including Maine, California and Massachusetts. According to a news release from Maine Insurance Superintendent Eric Cioppa, Cigna Health and Life, Life Insurance Company of North America, and Connecticut General Life Insurance Company set aside $29 million to deal with claims that were still open at the time of the settlement, and another $48 million to review claims that were previously denied.

The three companies also agreed to change their claims handling practices and were required to pay fines of more than $1.6 million. An investigation into the comapnies began when concerns were raised that the companies violated the Unfair Methods of Competition and Unfair and Deceptive Acts and Practices in the Business of Insurance Model Act (1972).

Insurance companies are required to act in good faith when reviewing policyholder claims, but many lawsuits have been filed against insurance companies, alleging they use improper tactics to unreasonably deny or delay paying benefits.

The Gladney lawsuit is Gladney v. Cigna, case number 2:16-cv-0004, US District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania. The Harless lawsuit is Harless v. Cigna, case number 6:16-cv-0006, US District Court, Western District of Louisiana.

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