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Court Orders Unum to Pay Long Term Disability Benefits to Our North Carolina Client Suffering from Chronic Migraines

A federal court in Florida ordered Unum to pay long-term disability benefits to our client in North Carolina suffering from chronic migraines.


Mr. Christina Dooley worked as a software trainer before becoming disabled. She stopped working in August of 2016 because of debilitating and painful migraine headaches. Not able to work, she filed a claim for long-term disability benefits with her insurance company, Unum. The insurance company approved her claim and paid monthly benefits for more than five years before suddenly terminating Ms. Dooley’s claim.

Ms. Dooley appealed the termination of her benefits and submitted evidence of her continued disability. Unum denied her appeal. So, Ms. Dooley hired Dabdoub Law Firm to represent her into litigation.


After Ms. Dooley's appeal was denied, our firm filed a lawsuit against Unum on her behalf. In court, Unum argued that they were right to stop her benefits suddenly because of:

  1. A supposed improvement in Ms. Dooley's migraines with new medication.
  2. Surveillance footage of Ms. Dooley shopping and going to a restaurant.
  3. Ms. Dooley being able to go on an RV trip with her parents.
  4. No clear, objective evidence of her migraine headaches.
  5. Medical reviews done by Unum's consulting physicians.

Our law firm disagreed with these arguments. We argued that:

  1. The records clearly showed that any improvement in Ms. Dooley's migraines was temporary and that her migraines had actually gotten worse before Unum cut off her benefits.
  2. Just because there was footage of Ms. Dooley doing some everyday activities doesn't prove she can reliably work full-time.
  3. Unum had accepted Ms. Dooley's reports and her doctors' conclusions for years, so it was wrong for them to suddenly demand objective evidence for a condition that's hard to objectively prove.
  4. Unum and its consulting physicians picked certain parts of the record but ignored others that showed how much Ms. Dooley's migraines were affecting her.
  5. Unum overlooked the fact that Ms. Dooley's migraines were so severe just before they stopped her benefits that she was having thoughts of hurting herself.

The Court’s Decision

We successfully won Ms. Dooley's case. The court ruled in her favor and ordered Unum to pay the benefits they owed her. The judge thoroughly understood the facts and made the following conclusions:

  • Any improvement Ms. Dooley experienced with new medication was minimal and didn't last long – her migraines got worse again before Unum stopped her benefits.
  • Unum made a mistake by assuming her limited ability to do some daily activities meant she could work full-time.
  • Unum didn't ask Ms. Dooley to keep a headache log, something they had done before. They also didn't request her to undergo medical testing.
  • Ms. Dooley's difficulty getting out of bed a few days a week makes it challenging to see how Unum expected her to work consistently.
  • Unum was in the wrong to suddenly question the conclusions of Ms. Dooley's doctors after accepting them for years.
  • Unum was also wrong to disregard records indicating that Ms. Dooley's migraines were so severe that she had thoughts of hurting herself just weeks before they stopped her benefits.

Disability Insurance Companies Have Lawyers. Shouldn’t You?

Because this law firm was created to focus on disability insurance, we are experts in this complex area of the law.

Our expertise in long-term disability claims means our clients have the backing of a law firm that has attorneys who:

  1. are experts in disability claims;
  2. fought all major disability insurance companies and know their tactics;
  3. a track record of success;
  4. won major disability lawsuits that created good law; and
  5. recovered millions of dollars in disability benefits.

All our lawyers commit every day of their legal career to helping people get disability benefits from UNUM, MetLife, Prudential, Northwestern Mutual, Hartford, CIGNA, and others.

Because federal law applies to most disability insurance claims, we do not have to be located in your state to help. We help clients nationwide.

Call to get experienced disability lawyers on your side with:

  • Submitting a disability insurance claim;
  • Appealing a long-term disability denial;
  • Negotiating a lump-sum settlement; and/or
  • Filing a lawsuit against your disability insurance company.

Call (800) 969-0488 to request your free consultation with an experienced disability attorney. Pay no fees or costs unless you get paid.