In one of the many lawsuits that have been filed against Unum, a Federal District Court judge decided that Unum abused its discretion when the company terminated long-term disability insurance benefits to one of its claimants.
In the matter of Soucy v. First Unum Life Ins. Co., the claimant filed for disability insurance benefits when he was injured in a car accident. The claim was based on orthopedic problems. The court made its decision because the judge believed that Unum did not properly take into consideration the claimant’s work duties when it terminated the claim. The judge felt that Unum focused mostly on the physical demand that the claimant’s job required in a generalized work class. This is not a surprise since it is a common tactic used by long-term disability insurance companies. They like to acknowledge the physical function of a job and the claimant’s ability to perform the physical work in general (such as lifting). Insurance companies rarely think of the full requirements that it takes to do a job.
Companies like Unum can’t appreciate the overall requirements a person needs in order to carry out various job tasks, especially if they are not physical tasks. Cognitive occupational functions as well as work that can be done while sitting are rarely acknowledged.
The Court disagreed with the fact that Unum based its decision to terminate a claim solely upon the results of a Functional Capacity Evaluation. This is a test that can only attest to a person’s overall capabilities. It is not geared toward any specific abilities. Unum also lost some points because it has a tendency to be very selective by using only parts of the report that denied the claimants claims, while ignoring other parts of the report that helped the plaintiff’s claim.
Unum tried to take away the plaintiff’s credibility during the claims process, which is another common tactic used by insurance companies. All of Unum’s efforts, however, were to no avail since the court agrees with the plaintiff. If your claim has been unjustly terminated by Unum, contact disability insurance attorney Greg Jones for a free consultation. I am experienced at fighting disability insurance claims and will work hard to get your disability insurance benefits.