Our Tampa, Florida client worked as a pre-operation administrative secretary at a hospital. She loved her job and planned to continue working until her eventual retirement. That all changed, however, when she underwent a hysterectomy in 2012.
After the surgery, she failed to recover and has experienced ongoing and unrelenting pain ever since. In 2014, she had a second surgery to alleviate her pain, but her nerves were permanently damaged. With no relief from her chronic and crippling pain, our client was forced to stop working.
She applied for long-term disability (LTD) benefits, and Reliance Standard was quick to grant them. Unfortunately, the insurance company reversed course after 7 years – even though our client’s condition did not change in the slightest.
Pain Pulls Our Client Down
Our client describes her pain as a 20-pound weight sitting inside her vagina and pulling her down constantly. The only relief she experiences comes from laying flat on her back and managing her pain with oxycodone, a strong opioid painkiller. She estimates that she spends approximately 75% of her time on her back, and even a routine trip to the grocery store is excruciating and requires several days of recovery time.
This is not the life our client imagined for herself, nor the life she had before her ill-fated surgery. She hates “being home alone doing nothing and feeling useless all the time” and would much rather be at work. Her boyfriend has seen how much she suffers and points out that her life has declined in quality due to an injury that was in no way her fault.
Of course, our client continues to seek treatment from pain management specialists, who have diagnosed her with chronic pain syndrome, pelvic pain, and migraines. According to our client’s doctors, standing, sitting, and performing the activities of daily living cause her “an unbearable amount of pain.” This pain interferes with our client’s ability to maintain employment, and her primary pain management doctor ultimately concluded that she could not reliably attend a 40-hour workweek.
Nothing about our client’s medical condition has changed since Reliance Standard first approved LTD benefits 7 years ago.
Reliance Standard Terminates Benefits After Failed Buyout
Notably, Reliance Standard’s stance toward our client and her disability changed after she rejected a lump-sum settlement to close out her policy. Reliance realized that our client was not getting better and would likely be entitled to LTD until the day she died, so they attempted to buy her out of her disability insurance policy.
Our client rejected two (2) offers, and Reliance Standard initiated a medical review. Suddenly, the insurance company’s in-house nurse decided that the medical conditions our client has been fighting for 7 years no longer counted as a disability.
With this behavior, Reliance Standard blatantly disregarded its fiduciary duties under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA). Dabdoub Law Firm simply gave the insurance company another chance to uphold its duties toward our client.
Fortunately, Reliance Standard did the right thing and reinstated our client’s benefits.
Help from a Lawyer with Expertise in Disability Insurance
Dabdoub Law Firm was built to be a disability insurance law firm.
That focus means:
- All our lawyers specialize in disability insurance claims.
- We have experience with every major disability insurance company.
- We have won important long-term disability lawsuits.
Our disability lawyers can help you 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.
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 to help you.
Call us at (800) 969-0488 or contact us online for a free consultation with an experienced disability attorney. Pay no fees or costs unless you get paid.