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Texas Woman, Disabled, Files Unum Lawsuit

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McKinney, TXAn Unum lawsuit filed in the US District Court for the Eastern District of Texas pits Unum insurance against a policyholder with a litany of medical problems verified by the plaintiff's medical team. The lawsuit stems from Unum's denial of long-term disability benefits in spite of, it has been alleged, rather obvious medical reasons that suggest the plaintiff is entitled to benefits.

The plaintiff is Rhea Hammond, who has brought an ERISA claim against Unum Group with regard to her disability insurance. According to the substance of the lawsuit filed with the Court at the end of February, the McKinney woman was forced to actively stop working as of June 13, 2008, due to a host of medical ailments. Among them…

Pancreatitis, abdominal pain, spondylosis, knee pain, gastrointestinal bleeding, sleep apnea, cirrhosis of the liver, osteoarthritis, lumbago, osteoporosis, chronic pain, hepatitis C, deep vein thrombosis, lumbar spine strain, polyarthralgia, fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, trigger finger, pneumonia, lupus, hypertension, hypothyroidism, headaches, depression, anxiety, panic attacks, post traumatic stress syndrome, memory loss, lack of concentration, anemia cellulites, reactive airway disease and bronchitis.

Due to the above-noted ailments and her overall physical condition, the plaintiff claims the date of June 13, 2008, as the point at which she became disabled. Upon filing a request for short-term disability benefits with Unum disability insurance, Hammond was duly granted short-term benefits prior to the plaintiff filing for long-term disability benefits soon thereafter.

Those benefits were also initially granted by Unum insurance, according to the lawsuit, as of March 9, 2009. Six months later, Unum notified Hammond that her long-term benefits were being terminated subsequent to an appeal at the plaintiff's option.

Hammond, according to court documents, appealed the denial and submitted additional medical records to corroborate her claim that she could no longer work in either her chosen profession or any other occupation covered by the Unum long-term disability insurance plan.

On November 9, three months to the day after notifying Hammond of the suspension of her benefits, Unum affirmed its denial of benefits. In so doing, the insurer dismissed any of the professional opinions of her medical team.

Hammond is pursuing wrongful denial of benefits under ERISA in an Unum lawsuit. LTD benefits would, according to the provisions of the plaintiff's policy, pay Hammond a monthly sum equaling $2,707.25 for as long as she remains disabled.

Unum Group, formerly Unum Provident and First Unum, is one of the largest providers of insurance in the world. It has been fighting a reputation, borne from various accusations, lawsuits and news reports, that it systematically attempts to deny benefits to deserving policyholders in spite of expert medical opinion. Unum clients have alleged bad faith insurance based on the payment, in good faith, of monthly premiums to keep LTD policies in good standing in the event of a catastrophic long-term disability.

Hammond's policy, according to court documents, came into effect July 31, 2007, and was in force less than a year before disability was claimed. The lawsuit was filed at the end of February.

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READER COMMENTS

Posted by

on
I have written you many times before with no response but I will try again.

I became disabled in 1994. I had right frozen shoulder followed by surgery and months of therapy. Then the left shoulder became frozen and worker's comp denied it. I then had adhesive capsulitis both shoulders and developed chronic fatigue/fibromyalgia. I was later diagnosed with leaky gut syndrome and many food intolerances. This was no doubt due to all the drugs and trauma I had with shoulders. I had radiculopathy of the neck and I had sleep disturbances, short term memory problems and then developed fibromyalgia. I have also been diagnosed with polyarthralgia. I learned many years later I had been exposed to heavy metals through lead soldering because of lack of gloves on the job. I should have been given my long term disability as well as worker's comp. I had a employer who was self insured and a bad lawyer. I proved my case but they ignored the evidence. I was told to write my senators, they haven't been helpful. I even wrote Obama. We need honest lawyers to fight these injustices. My employer knew my physician was saying I was totally and permanently disabled. They ignored it. My lawyer lead me to believe my doctor wasn't standing behind me when he was. I filed a complaint with the bar assoc. In Ohio. They said it was beyond the time frame to address this. This was a lie! It was within the time frame. What I have learned is that we have a corrupt system that is not policing the insurance industry and worker's comp! This needs to be made right! I am still disabled and still having issues with my liver not deotxing properly and trying to get rid of metals. Leaky gut can also affect the liver function and has no doubt contributed to the methylation problems which were identified by a lab.

Posted by

on
I have written you many times before with no response but I will try again.

I became disabled in 1994. I had right frozen shoulder followed by surgery and months of therapy. Then the left shoulder became frozen and worker's comp denied it. I then had adhesive capsulitis both shoulders and developed chronic fatigue/fibromyalgia. I was later diagnosed with leaky gut syndrome and many food intolerances. This was no doubt due to all the drugs and trauma I had with shoulders. I had radiculopathy of the neck and I had sleep disturbances, short term memory problems and then developed fibromyalgia. I have also been diagnosed with polyarthralgia. I learned many years later I had been exposed to heavy metals through lead soldering because of lack of gloves on the job. I should have been given my long term disability as well as worker's comp. I had a employer who was self insured and a bad lawyer. I proved my case but they ignored the evidence. I was told to write my senators, they haven't been helpful. I even wrote Obama. We need honest lawyers to fight these injustices. My employer knew my physician was saying I was totally and permanently disabled. They ignored it. My lawyer lead me to believe my doctor wasn't standing behind me when he was. I filed a complaint with the bar assoc. In Ohio. They said it was beyond the time frame to address this. This was a lie! It was within the time frame. What I have learned is that we have a corrupt system that is not policing the insurance industry and worker's comp! This needs to be made right! I am still disabled and still having issues with my liver not deotxing properly and trying to get rid of metals. Leaky gut can also affect the liver function and has no doubt contributed to the methylation problems which were identified by a lab.

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