Guardian Terminates Railroad Worker’s STD Benefits Despite Life-or-Death Stakes
For more than 22 years, and after serving in the U.S. armed forces, our client worked on the railroad in Chappell, Nebraska, and took great pride in his job. He was a “pure joy to work with” and never compromised the safety of his coworkers or the public. Unfortunately, our client began experiencing seizures in December 2019.
With the risk of seizures that could strike at any time, our client was rendered unable to work and even drive. His seizures left him paralyzed and unable to move, much less get off the tracks if a train approached. As a result, our client applied for short-term disability (STD) benefits under his employer’s group STD policy.
In April 2020, Guardian approved our client’s claim. Mysteriously, the insurance company terminated our client’s STD benefits only a month later. Unable to work and left with no choice, our client contacted Dabdoub Law Firm.
Why Did Guardian Put the Railroad Worker at Risk of Serious Injury or Death?
Our client’s neurologist has deemed him “unable to continue work at this time… due to medical issues,” and emphasized that “[he] is most certainly not able to do his railroad maintenance job safely.” If our client were to seize or lose consciousness on the job, he would crash the car he is required to drive to job sites, or worse, be unable to escape an oncoming train.
Nevertheless, Guardian relied on the opinion of a single nurse case manager to deny our client’s claim instead of minding the grave conclusions of his treating physician. Guardian also ignored concerns from our client’s wife, who wrote that her “heart skipped a beat every time the phone rang” before he stopped working because she feared the worst.
Our client’s coworker also detailed an incident in which our client was nearly hit by a van while in the middle of a seizure. Clearly, the risks to our client’s health and safety – and the safety of those around him – are not made up.
Dabdoub Law Firm Prepares for Legal Action
Due to the stakes of this particular case, Dabdoub Law Firm gave Guardian one chance to correct its error. Had Guardian not reversed its decision to terminate our client’s STD benefits and paid his retroactive benefits in full, we were fully prepared to file suit in federal court under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA).
Fortunately, we were able to resolve the matter without legal action.
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