Finding a pattern of bad behavior by Reliance Standard in denying long term disability benefits, a court ordered the disability insurance company to pay disability benefits to a Mississippi woman. The court ultimately found that Ms. Nichols’ medical conditions made it impossible for her to do her job. Thus, the court ruled Ms. Nichols was disabled under the terms of Reliance’s long-term disability plan.
Every day, this law firm helps people like Ms. Nichols get disability benefits paid by insurance companies. We have fought all major disability insurance companies and have won several major disability lawsuits, including against Reliance Standard.
Prior to becoming disabled, Ms. Nichols worked in a cold factory for Peco Foods as a critical control points coordinator. Sadly, a number of circulatory issues, including Raynaud’s disease, forced Ms. Nichols to cease working. People suffering from Raynaud’s disease tend to feel numb and cold in response to cold temperatures. Indeed, the court here agreed that exposure to the cold would cause serious circulatory problems for Ms. Nichols.
Ms. Nichols Case for Long Term Disability Benefits
The Reliance long term disability policy defines disability as being unable to perform the material duties of her regular occupation as a result of injury or sickness. Unable to continue in her job, Ms. Nichols filed a claim for long term disability benefits.
Interestingly, Reliance found Ms. Nichols cannot continue to work in a factory kept at 40 degrees. Still, Reliance argued the plan defines regular occupation as the occupation as it is normally performed in the “national economy, and not the unique duties performed for a specific employer.” Reliance’s vocational expert claimed her occupation does not require exposure to cold temperatures. Thus, Reliance denied Ms. Nichols claim for long term disability benefits.
Ms. Nichols appealed Reliance’s decision. However, Reliance denied her appeal for long term disability benefits for the same reason.
The Court Rules Reliance Standard’s Disability Denial was Unlawful
Ms. Nichols filed a lawsuit against Reliance Standards and won.
Importantly, the court determined Reliance’s vocational assessments were inaccurate because it ignored two important job duties. The court stated common sense dictates her job duties require exposure to cold temperatures.
The court also highlighted Reliance’s pattern of arbitrary and wrongful disability denials. Indeed, the court discovered over 100 opinions criticizing Reliance’s disability decisions. According to the court, it is often found that Reliance’s denials are impacted by self-interest. Importantly, the court noted that Reliance regularly misclassifies claimant’s occupations, as it did with Ms. Nichols. The court was very critical of the continued pattern of bad behavior by Reliance.
Hiring an Experienced Disability Insurance Lawyer is Important
This law firm has always focused only on disability insurance law. As a result, the firm has significant experience fighting all major disability insurance companies, including Reliance Standard, and has won several major disability lawsuits. Our wins have created new law that protects disabled workers.
Call Dabdoub Law Firm to get experienced disability lawyers on your side.
We can help with:
- Submitting a disability insurance claim;
- Appealing a long-term disability denial;
- Negotiating a lump-sum settlement; or
- Filing a lawsuit against your disability insurance company.
The firm represents clients nationwide with disability claims governed by federal law, even if we are not located in your state.
Call to speak with an experienced disability attorney.