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Unum Accused of Denying Disability Benefits as Corporate Profits Rise

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Philadelphia, PAAn Unum lawsuit alleging unpaid Unum disability benefits has been filed by a Pennsylvania nurse claiming her rightful benefits were not only denied, but that the insurer failed to consider evidence that duly supported her claim.

According to the Pennsylvania Record (11/01/17) Glen Mills resident Jennifer Secrist became disabled and was unable to perform her duties as a clinical nurse on behalf of her employer, Tenet Healthcare Corp. As a result of her disability, Secrist filed for Unum disability benefits according to the findings of her medical practitioners, and according to the provisions in her policy.

Unum however, denied her Unum disability insurance.

Secrist proceeded to pursue an Unum lawsuit, which she filed October 18 in US District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. The defendant is listed as Unum Life Insurance Co. of America, and the lawsuit cites the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA, as amended 1974).

Amongst her claims, Secrist is holding Unum to account for denying her legitimate claims for Unum disability without taking into consideration available evidence that supports her disability claim, or so it is alleged.

Unum has historically been called out over demonstrations of bad faith insurance – allegations which also, for the most part plague the entire insurance sector as a whole. While happily issuing policies and accepting premiums to keep policies in good standing, as an industry insurers still suffer from a reputation of denying first and asking questions later. Unum, and its various incarnations including Unum Provident and Unum Group, has been previously inundated with reports and allegations of bad faith insurance.

Such reports of Unum long term disability insurance denials appear to have waned in recent years, replaced instead with reports of Unum’s corporate performance. While claims of denied disability will always be an issue for the insurance industry including Unum, has Unum Group turned the tide of rancor?

Time will tell.

In the meantime Zacks Equity Research (11/26/17) late last month reported Unum’s Q3 results were improved, with operating net income for Q3 2017 at $1.09 per share, a performance that bested many industry forecasts. The firm’s bottom line was up 11.2 percent at the end of Q3 as compared with a year ago, while denying disability benefits to Jennifer Secrist.

The plaintiff seeks judgment against the defendant in the amount of 60 percent of the plaintiff's gross monthly salary, court costs, interest and any further relief granted by the court.

The Unum denied disability ERISA lawsuit is Jennifer Secrist v. Unum Life Insurance Co. of America, Case No. 2:17-cv-04651-RBS, in US District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania


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