Back in April, state legislators voted in favor of changing the state’s law to relieve Tennesseans of their right to sue insurance companies for “unfair or deceptive practices under the state’s Consumer Protection Act.”
The vote seems to stem from a case involving Dr. Jack Goodman, a Memphis-area anesthesiologist who, in 1985, bought an insurance policy from The Paul Revere Life Insurance Co., which is a subsidiary of the Unum Provident Corporation. The policy was meant to provide the doctor with benefits if he lost his ability to work, but in 1992 the doctor suffered a back injury and applied for disability insurance benefits in 1993 after he was diagnosed Lumbar Radicular Syndrome.
Goodman’s claim was originally approved and he started receiving benefits, but in March 2008, Paul Revere stopped paying by saying that he could return to work as a full-time anesthesiologist. Upon appeal he was again rejected. In 2009, Goodman filed a lawsuit amid claims that the company (Unum Group and its affiliates) acted in “bad faith, committed a breach of contract, and they were accused of unfair practices under provisions of the Tennessee Consumer Protection Act.” Goodman’s case was settled in March of this year.
One of the reasons this case occurred at all was because of a law in Tennessee which stated that insurance companies can be held liable for “damage awards amounting to three times the actual damages, plus attorneys’ fees, if a court finds they have engaged in unfair and deceptive practices” under the Consumer Protection Act.
The new state law that was passed prevents people from being able to recover the extra money in a lawsuit which would really take the punishment away from the insurance company that acted badly in the first place. It’s like the insurance companies will now get a slap on the wrist. If you have been denied disability insurance benefits through unfair practices by Unum Group, contact attorney Greg Jones today for a free consultation. I may able to help you recover money.