Prudential Sued By Four Plaintiffs For Wrongful Denial Of Long-Term Disability Benefits
Four Plaintiffs have filed lawsuits in the District Courts of Alabama, Florida, Missouri, and Kentucky against The Prudential Insurance Company Of America (Prudential) for the wrongful denial of disability benefits as defined by ERISA. In all four cases, Prudential is accused of wrongfully withholding the disability benefits as defined by the Plaintiff’s respective Plans.
The Alabama Case
In Jackie S. v. The Prudential Insurance Company Of America, a disability lawsuit was filed through an Alabama disability attorney. The Plaintiff had been employed by Superior Bank, which contracted with Prudential to provide long-term disability benefits to its employees. Plaintiff ceased working full time on December 29, 2009 due to disabling physical and mental conditions. Plaintiff filed a claim for long-term disability benefits via the Plan, which Prudential denied based on a claim limitation for “mental illness” claims.
Plaintiff requested an administrative appeal review of the denial. She also notified Prudential that she had applied for Social Security Administration disability on July 26, 2010. On or about August 31, 2010, Prudential denied the Plaintiff’s administrative appeal for disability benefits. Due to exhausting her administrative remedies, Plaintiff has filed this lawsuit against Prudential.
The Florida Case
In Arthur K. v. The Prudential Insurance Company Of America (Prudential), Plaintiff filed this lawsuit via a Florida disability attorney. Plaintiff was employed by Atlantic Marine, which qualified him for short-term and long-term disability Plans via ERISA regulations that were administered by Prudential.
On or about December 13, 2009, Plaintiff became entitled to those benefits due to disabling medical conditions. Plaintiff applied for these benefits, which Prudential denied. Plaintiff has exhausted all administrative remedies, and thus, has proceeded with filing this lawsuit against Prudential.
The Missouri Case
In Kenneth L. v. The Prudential Insurance Company Of America (Prudential) and Anheuser Busch Companies, Inc. (Anheuser), this lawsuit was filed via a Missouri disability lawyer. Plaintiff was an employee of Anheuser, which provided an employee benefit plan that was administered by Prudential. Plaintiff had been employed at Anheuser for 36 years, 10 months, from March 15, 1971 to on or about December 31, 2007, as a brewer in a heavy-duty work capacity.
After losing an election to remain Secretary/Treasurer in December 2007, Plaintiff was required to return to heavy-duty work at the plant as a brewer in the Beechwood Chip Operations. Plaintiff became permanently and totally disabled while younger than age 70 for a period of over 180 consecutive days. This disability either came from sickness, injury, or both. He could not perform the material and substantive duties of his job during the first 12 months of his disability, and has not been able to perform the material and substantive duties of any occupation that reasonably fits his education, training, or experience. This made him eligible for the “Total and Permanent Disability” benefits as defined by the Policy.
The Social Security Administration declared in June 2008 that the Plaintiff was permanently and totally disabled, preventing him from gaining any meaningful employment in any capacity in the open labor market. Plaintiff submitted his claim for benefits on or about May 28, 2008, listing 18 causes of his physical and mental deficits and providing medical records to back his claim.
Prudential and Anheuser initially denied Plaintiff’s claim on September 17, 2008, then denied his reconsideration request on October 24, 2008. Plaintiff appealed this decision in writing to the Waiver of Premium Appeals Review, leading to a third denial of his claim on November 21, 2008. Plaintiff requested a complete copy of his file, including Plan and Policy documents, on January 6, 2010, but Prudential and Anheuser never provided this file to the Plaintiff.
Prudential and Anheuser claimed that Plaintiff could still continue to function as a secretary/treasurer in his current condition, but failed to realize that Plaintiff lost the election, and thereby, lost the position to be secretary/treasurer, leading to his return to a “heavy-duty” brewer, which he could not fulfill in his current condition.
Due to poor consideration of Plaintiff’s claim and no resolution to Plaintiff’s claim, Plaintiff has filed this lawsuit against Prudential and Anheuser.
The Kentucky Case
In Jimmie G. Vs. Prudential Insurance Company Of America (Prudential), this lawsuit was filed via a Kentucky disability lawyer. The Plaintiff was employed as a store manager of Talbots, Inc. from November 1999 to July 2, 2009. This employment led to the Plaintiff being covered by a Group Insurance Long-Term Disability Plan that was administered and funded by Prudential.
Plaintiff went on medical leave on July 2, 2009 and has been unable to return to her employment. She applied for long-term disability benefits as defined by the terms of the Policy due to her impaired immune functioning, detached retina, hemorrhaging, and the diagnoses of Multiple Sclerosis and Rheumatoid Arthritis.
Prudential initially approved Plaintiff’s claim and provided long-term disability benefits to the Plaintiff until around February 28, 2010, when her benefits were terminated by Prudential. Plaintiff filed an appeal of this denial, which was also denied by Prudential on June 30, 2011. Plaintiff has exhausted all of her administrative remedies, leading to the filing of this lawsuit.
Relief Sought By The Four Plaintiffs
In the respective lawsuits, the Plaintiffs seek the following relief from the Court:
- A judgment against Prudential for paying all long-term disability payments that are due to the Plaintiffs, along with accumulated interest
- A judgment against Prudential to reinstate the Plaintiffs under their respective Policies and to keep them covered so long as they fit the terms of those Policies
- A judgment against Prudential to pay for all reasonable attorney fees
- A judgment against Prudential to pay for all related court costs
- A judgment against Prudential to pay all other relief that the Court decides to be proper and just restitution