Madison - St. Clair Record

Monday, February 24, 2020

Client alleges Life Insurance Co. owes disability benefits

By Molly English-Bowers | Feb 3, 2016

BENTON – A Jersey County woman is suing an insurance company, alleging she was wrongly denied long-term disability benefits.

Kathy L. Moore filed a lawsuit Feb. 1 in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois against Life Insurance Company of North America. 

According to the complaint, Moore was an employee of Global Brass & Copper Inc. of East Alton as a metal inspector/packer, and as a full-time employee she was covered under the group long-term disability policy.  On Dec. 15, 2011, the suit says, plaintiff began receiving long-term disability benefits as she was unable to work and had stopped working the previous June. She had experienced multiple abdominal surgeries, hypertension, diabetes and a progressive debilitating state of health, the lawsuit states.

On Dec. 19, 2013, Life Insurance wrote to Moore, informing her that her long-time disability benefits were terminated as of Dec. 14, 2013. In January 2014, plaintiff appealed the defendant's decision but on Jan. 6, 2015, the defendant notified the plaintiff the decision to terminate the benefits had been upheld, the suit says.

The lawsuit alleges the defendant's decision to deny benefits is an abuse of discretion as it failed to review the evidence as a whole, disregarded the diagnoses of Moore's physicians and relied solely on the opinion of hired consultants.

Since the plaintiff has met the plan's definition of disability, the suit says, she is entitled to the restoration of her monthly disability benefits, plus all overdue payments.

Moore seeks that the court order Life Insurance Company of North America to continue paying the benefits until she meets the plan's conditions for discontinuation, plus attorney fees, court costs and other relief the court deems just. She is represented by attorney Deborah A. Arbogast of Clayton, Missouri.

U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois case number 16-cv-118

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