Before being diagnosed with a non-cancerous schwannoma tumor on the vestibular nerve in her right ear, our client worked with Carnival Corporation as an occupational safety manager in Melbourne, Florida. She worked hard to prepare and maintain safe conditions on cruise ships and spent plenty of time out at sea.
With her tumor, our client began to experience tinnitus and vertigo, so she decided to undergo surgery. After gamma knife radiosurgery, however, her symptoms began to get worse. Instead of experiencing mild vertigo occasionally, she started experiencing constant vertigo that was exacerbated by movements. Her tinnitus got worse, and she experienced hearing loss in her right ear. Our client also suffered from dizziness, loss of balance, fatigue, poor concentration, and a distorted sense of motion.
In addition to her tumor, our client was diagnosed with vestibulopathy coming post-surgery. These conditions made it impossible for our client to work. Not only was her personal well-being jeopardized, but she was also unable to secure a safe ship, thus jeopardizing the health and safety of thousands of crew members and passengers.
Initially, Lincoln acknowledged our client’s disability and paid her both short-term disability (STD) and long-term disability (LTD) benefits. Recently, however, the insurance company claimed that our client was no longer eligible for benefits – even though her condition has not improved or changed in any meaningful way.
Details of Our Client’s Cruise Line Job
Under her policy with Lincoln, our client is disabled if she is unable to perform the main duties of her occupation. Our client’s job as a safety manager requires her to plan, implement, and coordinate programs to reduce or eliminate occupational injuries, illnesses, and death. She must also conduct or direct research studies, identify hazards, develop accident-prevention and loss-control systems and programs, and make sure all her efforts are keeping the cruise ship safe.
This work is labor-intensive and highly cognitive, and our client simply cannot do it while battling disabling dizziness and ringing in her right ear.
Lincoln could have acknowledged this fact and continued to pay LTD benefits, but the company chose to terminate our client’s benefits. The insurance company claimed that our client’s job consisted only of safety-related record keeping, reviewing ship safety committee meeting minutes, and assisting cruise ships with corrective actions or procedure improvement. These cherry-picked duties do not describe the true nature of our client’s disability. Thus, Lincoln’s termination of benefits was wrong and unreasonable.
Evidence of Tumor Growth and Symptoms
Our client cannot safely and successfully perform the main duties of her occupation due to her tumor and post-surgery complications. MRIs show the progression of our client’s tumor, which has only grown post-surgery. Our client’s doctors have noted her worsening symptoms, explaining that she is no longer able to drive and often feels entirely uncoordinated and extremely fatigued. Despite treatment, our client is dizzy and fatigued all the time, and her debilitating medical conditions interfere with her well-being, as well as her physical and mental abilities.
To prove her condition to Lincoln, or client also underwent 2 videonystagmography (VNG) evaluations, both of which indicated problems with balance, vertigo, and hearing loss. In addition to this objective medical evidence, our client has testimony from an otolaryngologist with specialized training in ear and inner ear disorders and all her other physicians. Our client’s doctors believe she is unable to return to work and may never recover well enough for a return to the workplace. Her tumor and treatment have caused “severe permanent disequilibrium,” as evidenced by a complete vestibular evaluation, countless tests, and every doctor who has treated her.
Sadly, our client cannot work in any occupation, and there is no treatment that can help her recover properly. Lincoln terminating her benefits adds insult to injury, especially because the insurance company was not acting in our client’s best interest. Our client, her friends and family, her physicians and now Dabdoub Law Firm have all asked Lincoln do to do the right thing.
Our firm is pleased to announce that Lincoln ultimately decided to reinstate our client’s LTD benefits and payretroactive benefits in full.
Disability Insurance Companies Have Lawyers. Shouldn’t You?
If you are facing a long-term disability claim denial, you should consult an experienced disability lawyer. Our lawyers specialize in disability claims with insurance companies.
- Dabdoub Law Firm has expertise in disability insurance claims.
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All our lawyers commit every day to helping people get disability benefits from insurance companies. Contact us to get help with:
- Submitting a disability insurance claim,
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Call us at (800) 969-0488 or contact us online for a free consultation with a disability attorney.