Rex Carr employee suing insurer over disability payment reduction

Andrea Dearden Sep. 8, 2011, 6:17am

A St. Louis man is suing his insurance carrier, accusing the company of not paying his entire disability claim.

Robert C. O'Neal filed the lawsuit Aug. 11 in St. Clair County Circuit Court against American General Life Companies and the United States Life Insurance Company in the City of New York.

O'Neal says he began working for the Rex Carr Law Firm in East St. Louis in March 2008. While working there, O'Neal says he held an insurance policy with American General, providing certain benefits for disability. O'Neal claims in the spring of 2008 he began experiencing extreme fatigue and weakness and filed a claim under his disability policy. He contends American General approved the claim in Ocotober 2008.

According to O'Neal, his monthly income before disability was $11,250 per month but he agreed to a monthly benefit payment of just $6,000. Those payments lasted until May 2011, O'Neal claims, when American General reduced his monthly payment by more than $2,200, the company told him the reduction was due to O'Neal receiving Social Security Disability benefits. O'Neal says United States Life and its owner, American General, then tried to retroactively apply the reduction in payments through July 2009. They allegedly asked O'Neal to pay back more than $51,000.

O'Neal claims his total income from benefits does not equate to his pre-disability income and, therefore, should not require a reduction in payment. He accuses United States Life Insurance and American General of breach of contract and asks for more than $150,000 in damages plus the cost of the lawsuit.

Attorney Ross T. Anderson of East St. Louis is representing O'Neal.

St. Clair County Circuit Court Case No.11-L-456

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