A Federal Court found American Airlines wrongfully terminated a pilot’s long-term disability benefits in Pennsylvania.
Mr. Miller was a pilot with American Airlines for close to 10 years. He suffered from anxiety and experienced a psychotic episode making him unfit to pilot a plane. Thus, he filed a claim for long-term disability benefits. American Airlines recognized his disability and paid monthly LTD benefits for close to 7 years before terminating his benefits in October of 2006.
Based on its review of the facts, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals ruled American Airlines abused its discretion in terminating Mr. Miller’s LTD benefits and ordered American Airlines issue Mr. Miller’s unpaid benefits.
The Court’s Review of Mr. Miller’s Claim
The court has a good grasp of the facts in this case and ruled in Mr. Miller’s favor.
Notably, the court held that there was no change in the medical records to warrant the termination of benefits. In terminating benefits, American Airlines stated that the medical records stated Mr. Miller was “asymptomatic,” and thus no longer disabled. However, the Court held this was misguided as the medical records had not changed. The Court found that the information American Airlines relied upon to terminate his benefits, was the same as the information it used to approve his benefits from 1999 through 2006. The Court concluded that this behavior weighed heavily in finding American Airlines had acted wrongly.
While this alone likely would have led to Mr. Miller’s victory in court, the court also discussed the following reasons showing American Airlines was wrong:
- American Airlines relied in part on a non-existent plan requirement to terminate benefits
- American Airlines did not set forth specific reasons for its denial of benefits
- American Airlines did not consider Mr. Miller’s diagnosis of anxiety
- American Airlines did not consider the specific job demands of being a pilot
Our Disability Attorneys Can Help You
Dabdoub Law Firm was built to be a disability insurance law firm. Because all our long-term disability lawyers focus on disability insurance claims, the firm has significant experience with every major disability insurance company and has won important disability lawsuits. Our lawyers are up to date with all court decisions like this one and will use this knowledge in support of your claim.
The firm can help at any stage of your long term disability claim, including:
- submitting a disability insurance claim;
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Hiring an experienced disability attorney is important. Because federal law applies to most disability insurance claims, our lawyers do not have to be located in your state.
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