Recent Judgments And Verdicts
- McKennon Law Group PC Wins at Trial in ERISA Disability Lawsuit against Long-Term Disability Insurer MetLife
After a bench trial, in a 46-page opinion dated March 24, 2020, Eastern District of California federal court Judge Troy Nunley ruled in favor of McKennon Law Group PC’s client in her ERISA lawsuit against her long-term disability insurer MetLife, who had denied her claim for long-term disability benefits. Judge Nunley pointed out many weaknesses in MetLife’s denial decision, including the fact that it relied almost entirely on the reports of its own hired medical consultants who “only performed paper reviews of Plaintiff’s medical records and neither observed nor treated Plaintiff personally.” He harshly criticized MetLife’s doctor consultant because his opinions were “not well-supported” and conclusory. The firm had several strategic battle victories along the way that contributed to winning the war for our client. We prevailed on a motion for partial summary judgment, where the Court ruled that the standard of review at trial would be de novo. We augmented the administrative record with the client’s favorable Social Security disability finding. Judge Nunley found that our client was totally disabled from performing the material duties of her own sedentary occupation. The Court entered judgment in our client’s favor and ordered MetLife to pay all her benefits for the Policy’s “own occupation” period, plus prejudgment interest for the last seven years. This decision will allow our client to collect all her substantial attorneys’ fees and costs she incurred aggressively fighting MetLife for the last five years. (Monr2020)
- MetLife Agrees to Pay Our Financial Advisor Client Full LTD Benefits for Mental Health Disability, Then Is Ordered to Pay His Attorneys’ Fees & Costs
McKennon Law Group PC prevailed in an ERISA lawsuit filed against MetLife, our client’s group long-term disability insurer, after MetLife wrongfully terminated his benefits just short of the two-year limit for mental illness disabilities. Our client could no longer perform the duties of his own occupation as a financial advisor because he suffers from severe depression, daily panic attacks and an inability to concentrate following his divorce and losing custody of his two young boys. After MetLife quit paying his long-term disability benefits, the firm filed a detailed ERISA lawsuit against it. More than a year later, MetLife surrendered on the eve of trial and reversed its claim decision, agreeing to pay all our client’s disability benefits. MetLife, however, refused to pay our client’s substantial attorneys’ fees and costs, claiming that he did not prevail in the lawsuit because there was no trial but a voluntary payment. We promptly filed a motion to recover our attorney’s fees, which MetLife vigorously opposed. On June 18, 2018, in a detailed 9-page opinion, Judge Andrew J. Guilford of the United States District Court for the Central District of California granted our motion. The Court ordered MetLife to pay us over $140,000 in attorneys’ fees and costs.
- Aetna Is Ordered to Pay Our Aerospace Engineer Client Long-Term Disability Benefits for Back Pain Through the ‘Any Occupation’ Period
On February 27, 2018, in Wright v. Aon Hewitt Absence Management, LLC, et al., District Court Judge Andrew J. Guilford conducted a bench trial regarding Aetna Life Insurance Company’s decision to deny our client’s claim for long-term disability benefits. At trial, McKennon Law Group PC argued that our client, an aerospace engineer, could no longer work due to extreme back pain and that those complaints were well-supported by the available medical evidence and thus he was entitled to payment of his disability benefits. On March 31, 2018, Judge Guilford issued an “Order Reversing Administrator’s Denial of Long-Term Disability Benefits” in which he explained that he agreed that Aetna’s denial decision was improper. In that Order, Judge Guilford rejected Aetna’s assertion that our client was not entitled to benefits because he was previously able to work through his reports of pain, remarking that “pain may become more difficult to bear if it goes on for years with no end in sight.” Judge Guilford ordered Aetna to pay disability insurance benefits to our client through the “any occupation” period and remanded the claim back to Aetna to decide whether our client could perform “any occupation” for which he is qualified by education, training and experience. We will soon file a motion for attorneys’ fees and costs under ERISA based on our client’s successful trial victory.
- Prudential Is Ordered to Pay Our Bank Manager Client Long-Term-Disability Benefits for Visual & Psychological Problems, and Is Denied SSDI Offset
On March 22, 2018, following a trial in an ERISA case after trial briefing by both parties, in the case of Bowlin v. The Prudential Insurance Company of America, District Court Judge Josephine L. Staton issued an order awarding long-term disability benefits to McKennon Law Group PC’s client, a bank manager who was unable to work due to her generalized anxiety disorder, depression, adjustment disorder and vision problems. In her ruling, Judge Staton noted that the opinions of our client’s treating physician and psychologist established her inability to perform the duties of her occupation and were well-reasoned, well-supported, and were entitled to more weight than the opinions of the medical professionals hired by Prudential who failed to offer a sufficient basis for rejecting the treating physicians’ opinions. Judge Staton also refused to allow Prudential to offset estimated Social Security Disability payments from our client’s benefit amount due to her failure to appeal the denial of her claim for Social Security benefits, since Prudential never communicated that our client should pursue an appeal as it was required to do under the terms of the long-term disability insurance policy. This decision will allow our client to collect all of the attorney’s fees and costs she incurred pursuing this litigation against Prudential.
- MetLife Agrees to Pay Our Financial Advisor Client Full LTD Benefits for Lower-Back Pain & Impaired Concentration, Is Ordered to Pay All Attorneys’ Fees
McKennon Law Group PC prevailed in an ERISA lawsuit filed against Metropolitan Life Insurance Company (“MetLife”), our client’s group long-term disability insurer, after MetLife terminated his benefits. Our client is a financial advisor that could no longer perform his job duties because of debilitating, post-surgical low back pain and impaired concentration caused by his pain medication. On the eve of trial, after the McKennon Law Group PC prevailed on two critical evidentiary motions, the disability insurer capitulated and agreed to pay our client all of his benefits. The insurer, however, offered to pay just a small fraction of the firm’s attorney’s fees and costs, contending they were unreasonable in amount. We promptly filed a motion to recover our attorney’s fees, which MetLife vigorously opposed. On January 31, 2018, in a detailed 11-page opinion, District Court Judge M. James Lorenz of the United States District Court for the Southern District of California granted our motion. The Court ordered MetLife to pay 100% of our attorney’s fees (and some costs), together totaling $294,391. Judge Lorenz concluded that the firm’s hourly rates of $700, $600 and $290 for Robert McKennon, Joseph McMillen and Stephanie Talavera, respectively, are reasonable for ERISA work given their strong experience and outstanding abilities, including decades handling insurance coverage, ERISA and bad faith insurance lawsuits. Judge Lorenz concluded that every minute of the firm’s time spent on the case, 515.1 hours, was reasonable and recoverable from the disability insurer, MetLife: “considering the quality of the work produced by McKennon Law Group PCand the successful result obtained, the Court finds reasonable the 515.1 hours counsel spent on this case.”
- Judge Orders Claims Administrator to Pay Our Client Long-Term-Disability Benefits for CFS, Nixing Its Demand for ‘Objective’ Medical Evidence
On November 26, 2017, by an administrative law hearing before the Honorable Julia Beck, McKennon Law Group PC secured a victory against the County of Los Angeles and Sedgwick Claims Management Services, Inc. Our client was forced to stop working at the County because of disabling chronic fatigue syndrome (“CFS”). Despite that, Sedgwick (the claims administrator for the County’s Long-Term Disability and Survivor Benefit Plan), denied our client’s claim and refused to pay her disability benefits. Sedgwick concluded that her alleged CFS disability was excluded under the County’s Plan because it was not supported by “objective” medical evidence. After listening to witness testimony and argument presented by the McKennon Law Group PC, Hearing Officer Beck disagreed and reversed Sedgwick’s benefits decision. She ruled in a 9-page Decision that our client was totally disabled. She adopted our argument that the Plan required “prevailing medical evidence” of disability, not the “objective” medical evidence standard Sedgwick had erroneously relied upon to deny the claim. Further, she ruled that our client’s disability was justified by “prevailing medical evidence” because while there is no single, objective diagnostic test available in the medical community to diagnose a patient with CFS, a largely self-reported illness, the client’s treating physicians all diagnosed her following the protocol widely accepted in the medical community (which does not require a positive lab test for CFS, a test which is not even medically possible). This decision will allow our client to recover all of her past-due and future long-term disability benefits under the County’s Long-Term Disability Plan.
- Our Client Wins $514,611 Judgment, Including Prejudgment Interest & Attorneys’ Fees, Against Former Agent Who Fraudulently Retained Commissions
On August 10, 2017, McKennon Law Group PC secured a judgment exceeding one-half-million dollars for its client, a company whose former agent breached their Agent’s Contract. The agent wrongfully retained commissions due the client under the contract after the agent defrauded many policyholders in connection with the sale of life insurance, health/medical insurance and annuity policies he sold that were subsequently cancelled (and the premiums refunded to the policyholders). After the Complaint was filed, the agent and our client settled the case. When the agent breached the installment payment settlement agreement, we promptly filed an ex parte motion to enter judgment against him. The judgment we obtained for our client included the agent’s (Irwin Cohen) entire outstanding principal settlement balance, plus $27,000 in prejudgment interest and the client’s full attorney’s fees and costs. The Court found that 100% of McKennon Law Group PC’s fees, approximately $150,000, were reasonably incurred and billed at reasonable hourly rates.
- McKennon Law Group PC Wins $551,967 Judgment, Plus Attorneys’ Fees & Prejudgment Interest, Against Former Agent Who Fraudulently Issued Insurance Policies
On August 17, 2017, McKennon Law Group PC secured a default for its client, a company whose former agent committed fraud and breach of contract against our client and against numerous life insurance policyholders. The former agent wrongfully obtained commissions from the company by causing policies to be issued to individuals who were either not aware that policies were being issued in their name or were misled as to the extent and nature of the policies being issued. McKennon Law Group PC filed a number of motions, and the judge ultimately issued an order striking the former agent’s answer and entering default against him. In addition, the judge ordered $21,955 in sanctions to be paid to our client. On December 5, 2017, the judge ordered a total judgment of $551,967.09 be issued against the former agent Oscar Galdamez, the full amount requested on behalf of our client, including over $173,000 in attorneys’ fees and over $59,000 in prejudgment interest. The judge found that 100% of McKennon Law Group PC’s fees were reasonably incurred and billed at reasonable hourly rates, including Mr. McKennon’s hourly rate of $700.
- Union Security Ins. Co. Is Forced to Pay Long-Term-Disability Benefits, Including Attorneys’ Fees & Prejudgment Interest, to Our Disabled-Office Manager Client
On August 2, 2016, the McKennon Law Group PC secured a trial victory for its disabled client, Adrienne Turner, who was forced to stop working as an office manager because of carpal tunnel syndrome, chronic pain and other conditions. She filed a claim for long-term disability benefits with Union Security Insurance Company, but the insurer denied her claim, arguing that the medical evidence did not support her claimed disability. The McKennon Law Group PC filed an ERISA lawsuit, and following a July 29, 2016 trial, Federal District Court Judge Cormac J. Carney ruled that Union Security’s claim decision was incorrect and determined that she was entitled to her long-term disability benefits. The Court explained that it found the conclusions of her treating physicians to be “more compelling” than those of the “paper review” physicians hired by Union Security. In addition to receiving her past-due long-term disability benefits under ERISA, Union Security will be required to pay The McKennon Law Group PC’s attorneys’ fees and costs our client was forced to incur in filing a lawsuit against Union Security, in addition to pre-judgment interest.
- Aetna Is Forced to Reimburse Medical Insurance Claim & Pay Attorney’s Fees to Our Client, a Father Who Paid Out-of-Pocket for Daughter’s Rehab While Aetna Deemed Treatment as Not Medically Necessary and Denied It
Following the submission of trial briefing in our case Eric Tykeson v. Aetna Life Ins. Co., on April 28, 2016, Federal District Court Judge James S. Otero issued a detailed, 25-page order finding in favor of the McKennon Law Group PC’s client, Eric Tykeson, a father fighting to recover money he paid to a residential treatment facility for treatment his minor daughter received. Initially, Defendant Aetna Life Insurance Company approved the daughter’s stay at the intensive, 24-hour treatment center. However, after a few months of treatment, Aetna determined that further residential treatment was no longer “medically necessary,” and instead would only agree to pay for out-patient treatment. Acting on the advice of his daughter’s physicians, the McKennon Law Group PC’s client kept his daughter at the facility, and paid the medical bills while appealing Aetna’s decision. Eventually, the daughter was able to transfer to a different facility; however, Aetna refused to reimburse the father for the $113,000 in treatment that he paid for. Accordingly, he was forced to file a lawsuit seeking reimbursement of the funds that he paid for her treatment. McKennon Law Group PC argued that Aetna’s determination that the residential treatment was not “medically necessary” was neither supported by the available medical records nor the language in the ERISA-governed health insurance plan provided by his employer. Aetna primarily relied on its proprietary Level of Care Assessment Tool (“LOCAT”) to argue that residential treatment was no longer necessary as of the date of the denial of the claim for continuing 24-hour care. Additionally, while the case was reviewed under ERISA’s abuse of discretion standard of review, the McKennon Law Group PC argued that Aetna was not entitled to full discretion because of it did not engage in a “meaningful dialogue” with the father. The Court agreed that Aetna committed procedural violations, which reduced the amount of discretion its decision was afforded. The Court explained that “the administrative record supporting a finding that Aetna abused its discretion when it concluded that the residential treatment was not ‘medically necessary.’” Accordingly, Judge Otero issued a judgment in favor of the McKennon Law Group PC’s client for the full amount he paid and determined that Aetna will pay our client’s attorneys’ fees and costs.
- District Court Is Ordered by Ninth Circuit to Use Critically Important Info It First Ignored, Then Is Ordered to Award Attorneys’ Fees for the Work That Obtained That Info
The McKennon Law Group PC recently secured a victory at the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, obtaining a ruling that the District Court abused its discretion by unreasonably refusing to award attorneys’ fees for work performed on behalf of a health insurance claimant under an ERISA plan. In litigation regarding whether an insurance company, acting as an ERISA administrator, received a claim for health insurance benefits and unreasonably failed to pay the claim, the District Court initially found in favor of the insurance company, ignoring evidence uncovered during discovery that the insurance company received the health insurance claim when it was made. On appeal to the Ninth Circuit, the McKennon Law Group PC was able to secure a remand back to the District Court, which was instructed to consider the information uncovered by the McKennon Law Group PC during discovery. On remand, the District Court considered the information, which demonstrated that, contrary to its claim, the insurance company did receive the health insurance claim. However, when awarding attorneys’ fees, the District Court refused to award attorneys’ fees for the time spent obtaining the very evidence used to prove that the insurance company received the claim. Following a second round of briefing and oral argument to the Ninth Circuit, the entire panel agreed that the District Court abused its discretion when it failed to award attorneys’ fees for the time spent obtaining information proving that the insurance company received the claim, and remanded the matter back to the District Court with an instruction that the insurance company is responsible for paying the disputed attorneys’ fees.
- LINA Is Ordered to Reverse Its Denial of an LTD Benefits Claim Filed by Our International-Company VP Client
After a bench trial on December 14, 2015, in a Memorandum of Decision dated December 16, 2015, Federal District Court Judge James Selna found in favor of McKennon Law Group PC’s client, a vice president of a large international company, who sought reversal of LINA’s denial of her ERISA long-term disability insurance benefits from LINA. Judge Selna’s decision pointed out many weaknesses in LINA’s denial decision, including the fact that LINA’s decision relied almost entirely on the report of its own physician, who based his findings on a review of our client’s medical records, and never examined her or spoke with any of her treating physicians (whose findings supported a finding of disability). Judge Selna characterized LINA’s physician’s report as “confusing and unpersuasive” and stated because LINA’s physician did not explain his reasoning and because he “reasoned in an entirely conclusory fashion,” his report did not amount to an analysis of the claim at all, such that “the Court will not afford it any weight.” Judge Selna also determined that LINA did not correctly analyze our client’s occupational duties because it did not include or consider her substantial travel duties. LINA argued that the court need not consider them since they were not listed in the Department of Labor’s Dictionary of Occupational Titles. Ultimately, Judge Selna found that LINA did not provide our client with “a prompt and complete review of the claim.” He entered judgment in our client’s favor requiring LINA to reverse its disability insurance claim denial and remanded the matter to LINA for another decision consistent with his opinion to correct LINA’s errors and to consider new evidence submitted by our client during litigation. This decision allowed our client to collect all of her substantial attorneys’ fees and costs she incurred in fighting LINA.
- Sun Life Is Ordered to Pay Over $450K, Including Attorneys’ Fees, to Our Client Seeking Long-Term-Disability Benefits
On April 22, 2015 in our case of Jeffrey Evans v. Insurer Sun Life Financial, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, in an unpublished decision, affirmed the Federal District Court Judge Carney’s decision in favor of our client Jeffrey Evans against his insurer Sun Life Financial, in which he noted Sun Life’s conflict of interest “required more skeptical judicial review” and held that Sun Life abused its discretion in denying our client’s claim for disability benefits. District Court Judge Carney had found in favor of our client, who sought his ERISA long-term disability benefits from Sun Life. The court noted Sun Life acted improperly by, among other things, demanding “objective” evidence of disability, a standard of evidence not required by the plan, and relying on a “paper review” by paid physicians who failed to speak with plaintiff’s treating physicians. The Ninth Circuit affirmed our client‘s award of $452,707 including over $215,000 in attorneys’ fees for litigation in the District Court. Sun Life challenged McKennon Law Group PC’s attorneys’ fees incurred on the appeal arguing the firm should not be paid any of them, or if the firm received fees, that they should be reduced. The Ninth Circuit completely rejected Sun Life’s challenge and awarded the firm over $172,000 in additional attorneys’ fees for its full fees incurred on the appeal. The Court did not reduce any of the McKennon Law Group PC’s requested fees. The Ninth Circuit found that the firm’s fees were completely reasonable and appropriate.
- Our Wrongful-Foreclosure Client Wins an $11 Million Judgment Against Chase Manhattan
A Santa Monica jury awarded $10,225,000 (plus ten percent interest) against Chase Manhattan Bank in a wrongful foreclosure case in which the McKennon Law Group PC represented Plaintiff. Robert McKennon represented the Plaintiff at a critical time prior to the trial of the case.
- Attorney McKennon Wins Patent-Dispute Arbitration Award of Nearly $4 Million; Arbitrator Lauds Robert McKennon for his “Exceptional Skill in Cross-Examining” Witnesses
McKennon│Schindler LLP, Robert J. McKennon’s prior law firm, attained a $3.94 million arbitration award in a business litigation dispute involving a patent license. Robert McKennon was lauded by the Arbitrator for his “exceptional skill in cross-examining” key witnesses that led to the arbitration victory.
- McKennon Law Group PC Persuades Misbehaving Insurer, CIGNA, to Pay Our Client’s Urgent Care and Continuing Treatment Bills; District Court Also Awards Attorneys’ Fees
In our case, Selina Bryant v. CIGNA Healthcare of California, our client incurred substantial medical expenses due to urgent care and continuing treatment she needed following a serious auto collision. The insurer denied that a claim was ever filed, it refused to provide claim documents,it neglected to explain its denial and it withheld medical coverage. McKennon Law Group PC convinced Judge Gary Klausner to enter judgment against CIGNA and to fully pay the medical claim. In addition, Judge Klausner, after a reversal by the Ninth Circuit, awarded our client substantial attorneys’ fees and costs.
Recent Settlements & Non-Trial Successes
- Sedgwick Overturns Decision on an ERISA Appeal Reinstating Long-Term-Disability Benefits, Agrees to Pay Past Disability Benefits and Approves His Ongoing Claim
Our client suffers from significant lower back pain, requiring him to undergo a spinal fusion surgery and a long-term prescription of narcotic pain medication. He has a group long-term-disability policy through his employer where he worked in a supervisor position. Sedgwick was the third-party administrator that paid his long-term disability benefits for almost two years, but suddenly denied his desperately needed benefits. Our client searched for highly experienced disability attorneys and found McKennon Law Group PC based upon our excellent reputation and outstanding reviews. We prepared a detailed appeal letter setting forth the reasons Sedgwick’s denial was in error and provided updated medical records and doctor certification letters to Sedgwick. In response, Sedgwick overturned its claim denial and paid our client’s total disability benefits from February 2018 to present and approved his claim for ongoing disability benefits well into the future. This was a complete victory for our client. (Grave2020)
- Insurer Agrees to Pay Significant Settlement to our Client After Initially Rescinding Life Insurance Policies
Our client was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease in 2017 at the young age of 58. A year and a half prior, our client’s wife met with an insurance agent from an insurance company to assess their finances and insurance coverage. Our clients decided to purchase life insurance products that included an accelerated benefit that allows for the acceleration of a policy’s death benefits. At the time of application, our client had undergone some testing that came back normal and non-specific. He did not include these tests on the life insurance application as he thought that there was nothing wrong with him. Following the diagnosis, our clients made a claim for accelerated benefits under the life insurance policy and the insurance company denied the claim and rescinded over $500,000 in life insurance coverage. Looking for leaders in life insurance claims, they hired McKennon Law Group PC. We filed a lawsuit and compiled and organized our client’s extremely complex and complicated medical records, aggressively conducted written discovery, took and defended multiple depositions, synthesized thousands of pages of documents. In a mediation, we were able to recover a high five-figure settlement for our client. Without our firm’s zealous advocacy, the client would have received nothing. (Satt2020)
- After McKennon Law Group Files Lawsuit, Aetna Reverses Denial and Quickly Reinstates Claim; Client Awarded Almost $90,000 in Fees, Costs and Interests
After being diagnosed with liver cirrhosis and receiving a liver transplant, our client could no longer perform his job as Vice President of Real Estate and Facilities for a large mortgage company. He filed a long-term disability claim with his disability insurer, Aetna, which was approved and paid for two years. Aetna then decided that his claim would not be payable after two years because it alleged, wrongfully and in bad faith, that our client’s liver condition was caused by alcohol abuse. The policy contained a two-year limit on benefits for disabilities primarily caused by alcohol abuse. After learning of Aetna’s decision, our client decided to seek out the best ERISA long-term disability attorneys he could find and that was the McKennon Law Group PC. Because Aetna refused to reverse its decision during the administrative appeal phase, the firm prepared a detailed lawsuit seeking our client’s unpaid disability benefits. Based on our aggressive advocacy, Aetna reversed its decision shortly after the lawsuit was filed and reinstated our client’s disability claim. We then filed a motion seeking attorneys’ fees, costs and interest, which Aetna vigorously opposed. After finding that the firm’s billing rates were reasonable and that our client was entitled to a fee award, the court awarded our client almost $90,000 in fees, costs and interest. This was a decisive victory for our client. (Durh2020)
- Insurer Agrees to Pay Our Client Who Suffered a Heart Attack All Benefits Due Under a Group Disability Policy
Our client had a major heart attack and suffers from permanent heart damage, diabetic neuropathy and shoulder problems. He had a group long-term disability policy through his employment that was governed by ERISA. The insurer approved our client’s claim for disability benefits but after paying benefits for several months, it terminated the disability claim stating that our client could return to work. Our client realized that he needed help and hired our firm, the McKennon Law Group PC. We completed the appeal for him and, when the insurer denied the appeal, we sued the insurer for the past due benefits, attorneys’ fees and interest. We were able to promptly negotiate a settlement whereby the insurer paid all benefits due under the policy and a sizable portion of our client’s attorneys’ fees. (Coop2020)
- Employer Pays Computer Security Specialist All Benefits Under His Disability Policy
A computer security specialist developed debilitating back problems that caused difficulty walking, carrying objects and using his dominant hand. He had short term disability benefits under an employer sponsored group disability plan. He filed a disability claim and his is employer paid him benefits for a few weeks before deciding that he could return to work. His condition had not improved, and he could not return to work. The security specialist was referred to our firm and hired us and we assisted him with his ERISA appeal. When the employer denied the appeal, we sued the employer in Arizona for the remaining benefits due under the disability policy. The employer promptly settled the case before filing an answer to our complaint and paid our client 100 % of his short-term disability benefits. This was a complete and total victory for our client. (Zimm2020)
- Employer Agrees to Pay Life Insurance Benefits and Attorneys’ Fees After Initially Claiming Our Client Did Not Qualify Because He Was Not Actively Working When the Policy was Issued
Our client’s sister died of cancer. Shortly before receiving her diagnosis, she was hired by an international bank. Through her job, the bank provided her with the opportunity to sign up for various employee benefits, including life insurance. She signed up for a significant amount of life insurance with our client as the beneficiary. The policy was governed by ERISA. For nearly a year, she paid her insurance premiums and received numerous notifications from her employer stating that she had life insurance through her employment. Unfortunately, she lost her battle with cancer. When our client filed his claim, the insurer claimed that his sister had no life insurance benefits through her job because she was not actively working when the policy was issued. After assisting our client with his ERISA appeal, which was denied, we brought an ERISA breach of fiduciary lawsuit against the bank and insurer. We prepared a thorough complaint complete with legal argument explaining that our client was entitled to the life insurance benefits. Before even filing an answer to the complaint, the bank promptly settled the case and paid our client the entire value of the life insurance policy death benefit (in the mid-six figures), 100% of our attorneys’ fees, all costs and interest at 10%. This was an immediate and quick complete victory for our client. (Boni2020)
- Employer Agrees to Pay Former Employee Increased Pension Benefits After It Provided Employee with False Information Which Induced His Premature Retirement
Our client, before retiring as a former employee of a multinational corporation, was provided by his employer with various notifications detailing the pension benefits he could expect upon retirement. He relied on the notifications when deciding to retire. After receiving the promised level of pension benefits for several years, the former employer concluded that it had miscalculated his pension and unilaterally decided to greatly reduce his monthly pension benefits. He was referred to us for help as being the top ERISA litigation firm in Orange County. We sued the employer in Connecticut. At a court ordered settlement conference, we successfully resolved the matter for nearly the maximum amount of money our client could have received if he had won at trial. (Arn2020)
- McKennon Law Group PC Compels Long-Term Disability Insurer to Pay Large Settlement by Aggressively Pursuing ERISA Disability Lawsuit
Our client, a computer software QA engineer, could no longer perform the duties of his own occupation or any other because of excruciating chronic low back pain following two spine surgeries, right shoulder impingement, degenerative arthritis in both his hands and wrists, and insomnia. His group disability insurer, after conceding he was disabled for the policy’s entire “own occupation” period and 22 months into the “any occupation” period, terminated his long-term disability benefits claiming he could do another occupation that was sedentary, in part because the Social Security Administration found that he could perform sedentary work. He then looked for experienced ERISA attorneys and hired the McKennon Law Group PC to handle his ERISA disability insurance claim denial. For his ERISA appeal, we worked with his treating physicians and the client to develop medical and vocational evidence rebutting the insurer’s position. After the disability insurer denied his appeal, we filed an ERISA lawsuit that alleged in detail why the insurer was wrong and must overturn its disability claim denial and we aggressively pursued this litigation. Faced with our aggressive advocacy of his long-term disability claim, his insurer pleaded for a mediation and then agreed to pay a large six-figure settlement to resolve the case. (Hof2019)
- ER Physician Prevails with Large Settlement in Own Occupation Bad Faith Disability Insurance Lawsuit After Insurer Denies Claim and After Several San Francisco Attorneys Decline His Case
Our client, an emergency room physician, could no longer perform his own occupation with reasonable continuity because of hypoglycemic episodes from type 2 diabetes that caused him to think and act slowly in emergency situations. He was unable to take regular breaks in an emergency room setting to check his glucose, eat and adjust his medications as necessary to prevent his low blood sugar episodes. His case presented several challenges. He continued to work in emergency medicine sporadically for several years. Some of his doctors concluded he was not disabled and not following their treatment recommendations. Other attorneys told him that his bad faith claim was barred by the statute of limitations. He first looked for disability insurance attorneys in the San Francisco area where he lived. Several law firms rejected his case and refused to represent him. He was then told that he should contact McKennon Law Group PC. We decided to take his case and filed a bad faith lawsuit in federal court. We reviewed thousands of pages of documents, conducted discovery, aggressively refuted the insurer’s statute of limitations defense which the other attorneys had mistakenly said could not be done, we mediated early and then settled the case with an insurer who Mr. McKennon has known for over 30 years. We settled the case for a significant six-figure sum despite. Our client was ecstatic with the results he achieved with McKennon Law Group PC given the advice he had been previously given. (Sing2019)
- To Avoid a Lawsuit, Long-Term Disability Insurer Reverses Denial Decision and Pays Our Client Large Lump-Sum Settlement
Our client, a dentist, could no longer perform his job because of severe neck, back, arm and wrist pain. He filed a long-term disability claim with his disability insurer which was later denied. Our client then decided to search for insurance bad faith attorneys who were experts in handling disability insurance claims, and he found McKennon Law Group PC. We submitted various letters to the insurer advocating for the reversal of the denial decision and arguing that our client was entitled to full disability benefits. This case presented challenging issues because our client continued to work part-time in the dental field after his disability date and we argued that he was entitled to full disability benefits despite the part-time employment. Based on our strong reputation with our client’s insurer and our aggressive advocacy for his disability benefits, the insurer was interested in a pre-litigation mediation to avoid a lawsuit. At the mediation, we convinced the insurer to reverse its decision and pay a large six-figure buy-out settlement covering all of our client’s past-due and future long-term disability benefits. (Zeht2019)
- Hartford Agrees to Pay Long-Term Disability Claim for Mental Disability After Successful Appeal of Disability Claim Denial
Our client worked as a technical analyst for a national music group and had a severe back injury from work, and mental anguish, stress and tension-type headaches. She filed a long-term disability claim and, following an initial denial, she wanted to hire disability insurance experts. She hired McKennon Law Group PC after searching online and reading the 5-Star Yelp reviews on our firm. We prepared an appeal of the claim denial, and Hartford overturned its denial and agreed to pay two years of benefits for her mental disabilities, the maximum for this type of disability. (Liw2019)
- ERISA Long-Term-Disability Insurer Settles Case Immediately After Lawsuit Filed by Paying Six-Figure Buy-Out Covering Clients’ Past and Future Disability Benefits Plus Her Attorneys’ Fees After Several Attorneys Declined Her Case
Our client worked as a Senior Risk Manager for her employer for several years where she would travel to physician offices to conduct in-depth risk management assessments and educate staff regarding malpractice risk and patient safety. Following a series of surgeries, she developed debilitating intestinal adhesions with obstructions, severe gastroesophageal reflux disease and severe hoarseness. She could no longer perform the duties of her own occupation or that of any other for which she could qualify. After briefly paying her disability benefits, her group long-term disability insurer suddenly reversed course, and denied her claim. Before finding McKennon Law Group PC, several attorneys declined her case stating the case was too difficult. We disagreed with the other attorneys and took the case. We drafted a detailed ERISA lawsuit in federal court seeking all of our client’s unpaid disability benefits. Before the insurer answered the complaint, the insurer agreed to pay a six-figure lump sum buy-out settlement covering all of our client’s past and future long-term disability benefits and her attorneys’ fees, costs and interest. Our client can now put this chapter behind her and use these much-needed funds for her retirement. (Gell2019)
- Standard Insurance Co. Overturns Decision on Appeal (with Possible “Bad Faith” Claims in State Court) and Agrees to Reinstate California Teacher’s Disability Claim with Full, Past-Due Benefits and Future Monthly Payments After McKennon Law Group PC’s Zealous Claim Advocacy
Our client, a California Teacher, suffered a debilitating fall down the stairs in her home, sustaining serious back and shoulder injuries that have caused intractable pain. She also received secondary diagnoses which also formed the basis for the claim of permanent, long-term disability. She filed a long-term disability claim with Standard, who paid one year of benefits but then denied her claim because of an alleged lack of medical findings to support it and that she did “not meet the Usual Occupation Definition of Disability beyond April 19, 2018.” Our client searched for the best California disability insurance attorneys she could find and hired McKennon Law Group PC. We presented the detailed medical files and the opinions of three doctors and argued that Standard committed bad faith, including misrepresentations and failure to adequately investigate the claim, which could have exposed Standard to bad faith and punitive damages. In response, Standard overturned its claim denial and paid our client’s past-due and future monthly payments due and owing under the disability policy. This was a complete victory for our client which provides her financial security, enabling her to afford continued medical care and treatment. (Carr-St2019)
- Cigna Overturns Decision on an ERISA Appeal That Our Client’s Long-Term-Disability Benefits Are Subject to a Pre-Existing Condition Exclusion, Agrees to Pay Past and Future Disability Benefits After Our Zealous Disability Claim Advocacy
Our client was involved in a severe motorcycle accident in March 2016 where she developed post-concussion syndrome with significant disequilibrium and cognitive-function deficits from a traumatic brain injury. She experienced permanent memory loss and required live-in care for months while she recovered. Prior to her accident, our client was on short-term-disability with Cigna due to her previous history of migraines, fibromyalgia and depression. As she was prepared to return to work, she was involved in the March 2016 motorcycle accident. Cigna denied her claim for long-term-disability benefits because it claimed her disability was caused or contributed to by, or resulted from a pre-existing condition. Our client searched for the best ERISA disability insurance attorneys she could find and hired McKennon Law Group PC. We argued that the motorcycle accident and her subsequent injuries were completely unrelated to her original short-term-disability period. In response, Cigna overturned it claim denial and paid our client’s total disability benefits up to May 2018, the last date that she had treated with a medical professional because she lost her medical insurance and was unable to continue receiving the care she desperately needed. Following an independent medical exam, Cigna approved her claim for disability benefits. This was a complete victory for our client which provides her financial security, enabling her to afford continued medical care and treatment.
- Cigna Agrees to Reinstate Accident Victim’s Waiver of Premium Coverage on Life Insurance Policy
Our client had group employee benefits which included long-term-disability and life insurance waiver of premium coverage with Cigna. The waiver of premium coverage provided that our client did not need to pay premiums for her life insurance coverage as long as she was totally disabled. Cigna initially denied her claim for long-term-disability benefits, but after she hired McKennon Law Group PC to handle her ERISA long-term disability appeal, Cigna paid past-due disability benefits. However, Cigna denied our client’s claim for waiver of premium benefits under her life insurance policy. We handled the appeal of the claim denial and promptly convinced Cigna to overturn its decision and reinstate her waiver of premium coverage.
- After litigation is Filed, Insurer and Employer Agree to Pay Our Quadriplegic Client All AD&D Benefits Due, Plus Interest and Attorneys’ Fees
Following a tragic boating accident, our client became a quadriplegic. He had elected for the full amount of Accident, Death & Dismemberment insurance coverage from his employer’s benefits package and had received confirmation of his coverage for the guaranteed issue amount. After making a claim for AD&D benefits based on his accident, the insurance company refused to pay his claim, asserting that he never provided proof of his good health to obtain the AD&D benefit, despite paying for his coverage. His claims were governed by ERISA. Our client conducted an exhaustive search to find the best Accident, Death & Dismemberment insurance attorney he could find. He found McKennon Law Group PC. We filed a detailed complaint in federal court against his employer, his employer’s benefits firm, and the insurance company. At mediation, the defendants agreed to pay the entire amount of his AD&D benefits owed, plus interest, statutory penalties and all of our attorneys’ fees incurred. Through our aggressive advocacy, we received the maximum amount recoverable for our client. This was a huge win for our quadriplegic client.
- Self-Funded ERISA Group Disability Plan and TPA Pay Large Settlement After Improperly Requiring Objective Evidence of Fibromyalgia and Losing Motion to Dismiss
Our client could no longer perform the duties of her own occupation as a medical credentialing coordinator for a University hospital because she suffers from fibromyalgia and Sjogren’s syndrome. Her employer’s self-funded long-term disability Plan and the Plan’s third-party claim administrator (“TPA”) wrongfully denied her ERISA group disability claim alleging she failed to provide objective evidence for her fibromyalgia. After they denied her many appeals, she hired disability insurance advocates McKennon Law Group PC to file an ERISA employee disability benefits lawsuit to overturn her disability claim denial. The TPA promptly filed a motion to dismiss claiming it was not a proper defendant, since the Plan made the ultimate denial decision and was solely responsible to pay the Plan’s benefits. We soundly defeated the motion, forcing the TPA to mediate. The insurer and TPA ultimately agreed to pay a large settlement covering the client’s past and future disability benefits and covering her attorneys’ fees, despite that the client had years earlier released the employer and Plan from all liability and the more difficult abuse of discretion standard of review applied. We successfully argued that the employer had waived the benefits of the release agreement by its conduct. And, that the defendants abused their discretion by requiring an impossible standard of proof when denying her claim, objective evidence for a medical condition that is inherently subjective in nature, fibromyalgia.
- Best Disability Insurance Attorneys in California Force Group ERISA Long-Term Disability Insurer to Capitulate Immediately After Lawsuit Filed By Agreeing to Pay Our Client All Her Past and Future Disability Benefits
Our client could no longer perform the duties of her own occupation as a secretary for a medical company, or that of any other for which she qualifies, because she suffers from debilitating neck, shoulder, arm, wrist and hand pain and numbness. After paying her long-term disability benefits for 24 months, her group long-term disability insurer wrongfully denied her claim for disability benefits based on the plan’s change in definition of disability from “own occupation” to “any occupation.” She decided to search for and hire the best disability insurance attorneys in California. Our firm filed a detailed ERISA lawsuit in federal court seeking our client’s unpaid disability benefits. The insurer promptly capitulated and agreed to pay all our client’s past and future disability benefits. We will soon file a motion to recover our client’s attorneys’ fees and costs since she prevailed in the lawsuit.
- Disabled Accident Victim Keeps Her Legal Settlement From United of Omaha’s Attempt to Claim Settlement as an Offset
Our client fell and injured herself. As a result of her injuries, she cannot work. She was covered by a long-term disability plan governed by ERISA and issued by United of Omaha. Our client applied for, and was awarded, disability benefits under her long-term disability plan. She also sued various entities connected to her fall and settled the case for a confidential sum. United of Omaha insisted that all of the proceeds from her settlement could be deducted from the payments of her disability benefits as an offset. She hired the McKennon Law Group PC to protect her disability benefits and to fight the proposed offset. An examination of the plan language revealed that the insurer was not entitled to deduct the settlement proceeds as an offset. We drafted a persuasive and detailed appeal letter explaining why United of Omaha had erred. Without even having to sue United of Omaha, we convinced it that we were correct and our client will now receive both her settlement proceeds without an offset and she will also receive all of her disability benefits.
- Disability Insurer Pays NAVY Teacher Full Amount of Long-Term Disability Benefits After Insurer’s Bad Faith Denial of Her Claim
Our client taught special needs children for the United States Navy. Shortly after delivering her third child via cesarean section, she started suffering from crippling postpartum depression. She was covered by a long-term disability policy. Her claim for mental-nervous disability benefits was denied. She turned to the McKennon Law Group PC for help. We filed a complaint seeking damages for the insurer’s bad faith denial of her long-term disability benefits. After we filed a bad faith complaint against the insurer, at a mediation, we convinced the insurer to pay the entire amount of her disability benefits for her mental illness.
- Long-Term Disability Insurer Pays Our Warehouse Manager Client a Six Figure Buy-Out Settlement Covering his Past and Future Disability Benefits and His Attorneys’ Fees
Our client could no longer perform the duties of his own occupation as a warehouse manager or those of any other occupation because he suffers from debilitating low back, leg and foot pain caused by herniated discs and radiculopathy, as well as arthritis in both his knees. After paying his long-term disability benefits for two years for the policy’s entire “own occupation” period, his group disability insurer wrongfully denied his ERISA disability claim alleging he could perform another occupation that was sedentary. After searching for the best ERISA disability advocates he could find, he hired McKennon Law Group PC to assist him. We filed an ERISA employee disability benefits lawsuit to overturn his disability claim denial. At a mediation, the insurer agreed to pay a large, six figure lump sum buy-out settlement covering his past and future disability benefits and covering his attorneys’ fees. The client was, in his own words, “amazed,” “ecstatic,” “in disbelief and so grateful” that we were able to resolve his case so successfully. He had struggled financially for years and worried every day and night about the next mortgage payment. Not anymore.
- To Avoid Losing Lawsuit, Long-Term-Disability Insurer Agrees to Pay Our ALJ Client All 24 Months of LTD Benefits for Mental Illness, Plus Attorneys’ Fees
Our client, an administrative law judge, could no longer perform his job because of crippling depression and anxiety. He filed a long-term disability claim with his disability insurer. The policy included a 24-month limit for mental illness benefits. The claim was initially denied in its entirety and, after fighting his disability insurer for over two years, he received only five months of disability benefits. Our client then decided to hire the firm named as the best disability insurance attorneys in California, McKennon Law Group PC. We submitted a comprehensive demand letter to the insurer arguing that it committed insurance bad faith when it denied his long-term disability claim and that our client was entitled to the full 24 months of benefits. Based on McKennon Law Group PC’s strong reputation with our client’s insurer and our aggressive advocacy for his disability benefits, the insurer was interested in a pre-litigation mediation to avoid a lawsuit. The insurer then reversed its decision and agreed to pay the policy’s entire 24-month mental illness long-term disability benefits and all of our client’s attorneys’ fees, costs and interest because we were able to show that the insurer acted in bad faith.
- After Paying LTD Benefits for Leukemia for 2 Years, Then Ending Them, Long-Term Disability Insurer Agrees to Pay All Past & Future LTD Benefits to Our Client
Our client, a Director of Field Operations and Digital Sales for an automobile manufacturer, was covered under his employer’s long-term disability insurance policy. After being diagnosed with leukemia and suffering serious complications related to his cancer treatments, he could no longer perform his job duties. He filed a long-term disability claim with his disability insurer, Greater Georgia Life, which was approved. After paying him long-term disability benefits for 2 years, his insurer suddenly terminated his benefits because it claimed that his medical condition no longer prevented him from working in his prior occupation. He appealed the decision but the claim denial decision was upheld. He hired the best ERISA disability experts he could find, McKennon Law Group PC. We submitted a second appeal to the insurer after we worked with our client’s treating physicians and our client to develop and gather evidence rebutting the insurer’s position. After receiving our comprehensive appeal letter in which we pointed out the many legal and factual flaws in the insurer’s claim denial decision, Greater Georgia Life overturned its claim denial, paid our client all of his past-due long-term disability benefits and put him back on claim so that he will continue to receive all of his future long-term disability insurance benefits.
- Long-Term Disability Insurer Agrees to Pay Our Physician Client Large Six-Figure Settlement to Settle Insurance Bad Faith Claims
Our client, an orthopedic surgeon for over thirty years, could no longer perform his job duties because of severe back pain. His disability was the cumulative result of three accidents that occurred over a number of years. He filed a long-term disability claim with his disability insurer. Under his policy, if his disability was the result of an “Injury,” defined as accidental bodily injury, the policy would pay him disability benefits for life, but if the disability was the result of a “Sickness,” the policy would pay him disability benefits only for 48 months. Thus, the classification of his disability had a major impact on the total benefits that would be paid to him. His insurer denied his long-term disability claim for benefits payable for life, because it classified his disability as resulting from a sickness, thereby limiting his benefits to 48 months. Our client decided to hire the best ERISA disability claim denial firm, McKennon Law Group PC. We submitted a detailed and persuasive demand letter to the insurer arguing that its decision was arbitrary, unreasonable and in bad faith. Since McKennon Law Group PC has a very strong reputation with our client’s insurer, the insurer was interested in a pre-litigation mediation to avoid a lawsuit. Shortly after the mediation the insurer agreed to classify his disability as an accidental bodily injury, and to pay a high six-figure lump sum buy-out settlement covering all of our client’s lifetime long-term disability benefits and in addition to his attorneys’ fees, costs and interest.
- After Paying LTD Benefits for 4 Years, Then Stopping Them, Long-Term-Disability Insurer Agrees to Pay Our HR Client a Six-Figure Lump-Sum Buyout, Plus Attorneys’ Fees – Our client, a former human resources specialist, was covered by a long-term disability insurance plan governed by ERISA. She became totally disabled as a result of a rare genetic condition which resulted in her suffering from fecal incontinence, fatigue, dizziness, palpitations and pain. Her insurer agreed to pay her long-term disability benefits. While paying our client, the insurer engaged in a prolonged and focused campaign of surveillance. After paying our client for nearly four years, the insurer terminated our client’s disability benefits. She hired the best disability insurance attorneys in California, McKennon Law Group PC. We sued to reinstate her benefits. Through aggressive and experienced advocacy, we convinced the insurer to buyout our client’s policy as part of a strong six-figure settlement that covered all of her disability benefits and some of her attorneys’ fees.
- Long-Term-Disability Insurer Paid Our Engineer Client LTD Benefits for 3 Years,Then Stopped Them, but Agreed to a Six-Figure Lump-Sum Buyout, Plus Attorneys’ Fees
Our client, a maintenance engineer for Marriott, could no longer perform his job or any other job for which he was qualified because of severe chronic back and neck pain and debilitating migraines following a car accident. He filed a long-term disability claim with his disability insurer. After paying him long-term disability benefits for over 3 years, his insurer terminated his benefits because it claimed he could work in a sedentary occupation. He appealed the decision but it was upheld. After the appeal denial, he hired McKennon Law Group PC. We filed an extensive, 33-page federal ERISA lawsuit against the insurer arguing that its decision was arbitrary, unreasonable and contrary to the medical evidence. Several months later and shortly following a mediation, the insurer reversed its decision and agreed to pay a six-figure lump sum buy-out settlement covering all of our client’s past and future long-term disability benefits and his attorneys’ fees, costs and interest.
- Prudential Reverses Its Decision Due on Our ERISA Appeal, Agrees to Pay Our Widow Client All of Her Life & AD&D Insurance Benefits
After her husband died, our client filed a claim for insurance benefits as a beneficiary of her husband’s employer-sponsored life and accidental death and dismemberment policies with Prudential Insurance Company. Her claims were governed by ERISA. Despite implicitly acknowledging that her husband’s death had been an accident, Prudential still denied her claim because Prudential had concluded that the death “resulted indirectly from a sickness (alcohol abuse),” a cause which was excluded under the policies She hired the McKennon Law Group PC. Through our aggressive advocacy, we convinced Prudential that its decision directly conflicted with Ninth Circuit precedent. Prudential overturned the denial and agreed to pay our client her six-figure benefits under the life and AD&D policies without ever having to file a lawsuit.
- Long-Term-Disability Insurer and Employer Settle Our Client’s Claim Before a Summary-Judgment Hearing Occurs, Agree to Pay All Medical Bills and Almost All Attorneys’ Fees
Our client was diagnosed with stage IV breast cancer in 2008 and received group medical insurance through her employer as part of an employee welfare benefit plan governed by ERISA. Following her diagnosis, our client underwent chemotherapy and other cancer treatments, rendering her incapable of performing her job. She thus began receiving monthly long-term disability benefits as well as continued medical coverage, and later began receiving Social Security Disability Insurance benefits. In 2014, her employer terminated her employment and ongoing benefits, and offered her COBRA continuation medical coverage, as required by law. However, after years of continued payments and representations that she was covered under her medical insurance plan and that she would receive identical coverage as an active employee, her insurer suddenly reversed course, arbitrarily reprocessing and denying hundreds of our client’s medical claims eighteen months into her COBRA coverage, and claimed that our client failed to enroll in Medicare Part B, despite never being told this was required of her. As a result, our client suddenly became liable for over $550,000 in unpaid medical bills that were initially covered, spanning years of cancer treatments. McKennon Law Group PC filed a complaint against the insurer and her employer alleging breach of fiduciary duty and equitable relief, including a surcharge remedy. We compiled and organized her extremely complex and complicated bill notices and records, aggressively conducted written discovery, synthesized thousands of pages of documents and filed a very detailed motion for summary judgment. On the eve of the hearing on the motion for summary judgment, we mediated and then settled the case, with the medical insurer and her employer/plan administrator agreeing to assume liability for all of our client’s medical bills, along with paying virtually all our client’s attorney’s fees, well in excess of $200,000. This was a grand slam home run for our client.
- Long-Term-Disability Insurer Threatens a Benefits-Destroying Offset Against Our Client, but Changes Its Mind After Persuasive Appeal Letter
Our client’s ERISA long-term disability insurer threatened to offset his policy disability benefits by a seven-figure loss of earnings award he received from the United States Federal Claims Court under the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act. The offset could have zeroed out his monthly benefit. The insurer contended it had the right under the policy’s “Deductible Sources of Income” provisions, arguing that the portion of a settlement, judgment or award from a third-party that is for past or future earnings is typically a deductible source of income. McKennon Law Group PC performed exhaustive nationwide research. Although there is no case precedent, we drafted a persuasive appeal letter to the disability insurer in which we cited to other ERISA offset cases and analogized them to the policy’s offset provisions. We convinced the insurer not to apply an offset without having to even file a lawsuit. Our client is ecstatic at the result. He will now receive both his Vaccine court award and ongoing monthly disability income from his group long-term ERISA disability insurer.
- Long-Term Disability Insurer Pays Large Six-Figure Buyout Settlement for Our Cancer-Stricken Psychiatrist Client
Our client, a psychiatrist, could no longer perform her job on a regular basis because of cancer-related fatigue and pain. Her case presented several challenges. She was in remission and she worked part-time but did not articulate that clearly to her long-term disability insurer, who evaluated her case under the total disability rather than partial/residual disability standard. Her policy had an Illinois choice-of-law provision which is very unfavorable to policyholders in terms of the available remedies as compared to remedies under California law, the latter of which allows for bad faith damages of all types and for punitive damages. McKennon Law Group PC met those challenges head-on. We filed a breach of insurance contract and vexatious and unreasonable conduct lawsuit under Illinois law, we aggressively conducted written discovery, we reviewed thousands of pages of documents, we took several depositions, we worked with her doctors and accountant to obtain favorable testimony on her behalf, we hired a bad faith insurance expert, we opposed the insurer’s summary judgment motion, and we mediated and then settled the case for a significant sum, well above the amount she could have obtained at trial given that Illinois law applied.
- Cigna Denies Our Client’s Long-Term-Disability Claim, Contending Lack of Medical-Record Support, but Reverses Its Decision Due to Our Strong ERISA Appeal Letter
Our client worked with General Atomics Company, Inc. as a buyer of miscellaneous equipment. Unfortunately, she developed reactive airway disease, an inhalation injury due to an unknown substance, shortness of breath, headaches, dizziness and chest pain. She also started suffering from exhaustion and the side effects of her medication. She filed a claim for long-term disability benefits with her insurer, Cigna. Cigna denied her claim, asserting that our client’s medical records did not support her disability. Desiring to retain the very best ERISA disability attorneys she could find, she hired McKennon Law Group PC. We diligently investigated the claim and claim file and prepared a detailed appeal of Cigna’s denial discussing many of the errors it made in handling the claim. The insurer overturned the denial and agreed to pay all of our client’s past-due long-term disability benefits and future long-term disability benefits without ever having to file a lawsuit.
- Unum First Rejects Our Client’s Long-Term-Disability Claim for Hearing Loss and Vertigo, Then Agrees to Pay Past and Future Disability Benefits Because of Our Aggressive Advocacy
Our client, a medical call center representative, had a group long-term disability insurance policy with Unum. She became disabled from Meniere’s disease, a disorder of the inner ear that causes fluctuating but progressively worsening and ultimately permanent, severe hearing loss, vertigo and other symptoms. Unum terminated her long-term disability benefits, arguing that her symptoms had improved such that she could hear customers on the phone. Looking for the most experienced ERISA disability insurance lawyers she could find to fight Unum, she hired McKennon Law Group PC, even though she lives in Minnesota. We synthesized her extremely complex medical records, including audiograms from her otologist that she did not even understand, to prove unequivocally to Unum that she could not hear well at the pitch that speech is commonly delivered. Based on our high-level work, Unum overturned her claim denial on appeal and agreed to pay all the client’s past-due benefits and reinstate her future disability benefits, without the client having to file a lawsuit.
- Prudential Changes Its Mind After Our Compelling Appeal, Agrees to Pay Past and Future LTD Benefits to Our Client Suffering Debilitating Back Pain
Our client, the Assistant Manager of a Microsoft Store, could no longer perform his job or any other for which he was qualified because of debilitating lumbar back pain following surgery. He filed a long-term disability claim with his insurer, Prudential. Prudential denied his claim after the “own occupation” period claiming he could perform another occupation that was sedentary. Looking for the best ERISA disability insurance lawyers he could find, he hired McKennon Law Group PC. We successfully prepared a detailed appeal which the insurer granted. The insurer overturned its denial decision and agreed to pay all the client’s past-due benefits and future long-term disability benefits without ever having to file a lawsuit.
- Our Psychiatrist Client, Unable to Work Due to Back Pain and Medication, Receives Large Settlement After Litigation is Filed
Our client, a psychiatrist, could no longer perform his job because of a herniated disc in his low back causing severe sciatic pain and the need to take opioid narcotic pain medication that interfered with his ability to concentrate. He filed a bad faith lawsuit against his long-term disability insurer when it denied his claim, through a different lawyer. Unhappy with that lawyer’s services, he was recommended to hire the McKennon Law Group PC, after hearing that we were the best bad faith disability insurance lawyers in the business. We litigated his case extensively and at mediation, settled the case for a substantial, six-figure amount, more than he could have ever obtained at trial given an Illinois choice-of-law provision in the policy. The lawyer from whom the case was moved commented that he was surprised we were able to settle the case for such a high amount given the facts and the law applicable. He understood that it was our firm’s extraordinary reputation for quality work, our aggressive approach and willingness to take the case to trial that resulted in this excellent result.
- Anthem Reverses Its Denial of Long-Term Disability Claim Because of Our ERISA Appeal Arguments, Reinstating Disability Benefits to Our Client Suffering From Work-Stress-Caused Strokes
Our client, a Vice President of Human Resources for a publicly traded company, became disabled when she could no longer perform her job duties because she has a rare neurologic disorder which produces frequent, recurrent strokes, triggered by work stress and fatigue. Her group disability insurer, Anthem, terminated her long-term disability benefits after paying them for a year, asserting the medical evidence documented that her strokes had resolved. Looking for the best ERISA disability insurance lawyers she could find to fight Anthem, she hired McKennon Law Group PC. We took that same medical evidence and proved that it actually corroborated her disability, not undermined it. We presented complex, serial MRI images chronologically documenting frequent strokes while working and virtually none after, the inference being that work stress caused her strokes and, therefore, argued that she is permanently disabled from working in her high-stress occupation. Based on our exemplary work, the insurer overturned her claim denial on appeal and agreed to pay all the client’s past-due benefits and reinstate her future disability benefits, without the client having to file a lawsuit. She will now receive all of her long-term disability benefits well into the future. Our client is ecstatic at the result.
- After We Filed Suit and Presented Convincing Arguments and Evidence, Aetna Agrees to Reinstate Long-Term Disability Benefits to Our Client Suffering From Multiple Maladies
Our client, a former senior vice president at a major retailer, was covered by a long-term disability insurance plan with Aetna which is governed by ERISA. She became disabled as a result of her numerous medical conditions which include chronic pain syndromes, neurological deficits, spinal problems, deterioration of high-level cognitive functioning and gastrointestinal issues. After paying our client long-term disability benefits for nearly two and a half years, Aetna terminated our client’s benefits. The McKennon Law Group PC sued Aetna to make it reinstate our client’s benefits. Through persuasive argument and the weight of the evidence we had collected, we convinced Aetna to reinstate our client’s disability benefits, paying all past-due and future benefits owed to her and also paying interest and paying her attorney’s fees. This was a complete victory for our client.
- Guardian Life Pays Our Client Past & Future Long-Term-Disability Benefits After We Appeal Her ERISA Claim Denial
Our client suffers from crippling rheumatoid arthritis which prevents her from working. Through her former job, she acquired long-term disability insurance under ERISA. Initially, her insurer Guardian Life agreed to pay her long-term disability benefits. However, even though her condition had not improved, her insurer terminated her disability benefits. She knew she had to find and hire aggressive ERISA disability attorneys so she hired McKennon Law Group PC. We filed an ERISA appeal of her denial, which included updated medical records and a detailed appeal letter. Based on the medical records and our appeal letter, Guardian Life promptly reinstated our client’s benefits, paying all past-due long-term disability benefits and future benefits owed to her.
- 66-Year-Old Executive, Debilitated by a Stroke, Recovers Past & Future Long-Term-Disability Benefits
Our client, a 66-year-old executive at a company that manufactures and installs elevators, was forced to stop working due to a debilitating stroke which damaged his sense of balance, vision, memory and ability to concentrate. His neurologist determined that he was permanently disabled. Our client had a long-term disability insurance policy through his employer. The insurer initially paid our client disability benefits, but then decided that he was not disabled even though his condition had not improved. He wanted to find experienced ERISA disability lawyers so he hired McKennon Law Group PC. We assisted him with his ERISA appeal and with pursuing the reinstatement of his benefits. We worked with our client to compile the evidence necessary to persuade the insurer that our client was disabled and entitled to benefits. We then drafted a persuasive and detailed appeal letter explaining to the insurer all of the mistakes it had made in terminating the disability benefits. Based on our persuasive arguments and compiled evidence, his insurer reversed its denial of his long-term disability claim and agreed to pay all of his benefits due, including all past-due disability benefits and future disability benefits.
- Lincoln National Life Reverses Its Decision After Our Appeal, Pays Long-Term Disability Claim in Full to Our Administrator Client Disabled by COPD
Our client, a business administrator for an aerospace and electronics company, could no longer work due to the debilitating symptoms caused by her COPD, including severe shortness of breath, chest pain, anxiety, and exhaustion. Unable to return to work, she filed a claim for long-term disability benefits under her group disability policy issued by Lincoln National Life Insurance Company. The long-term disability claim was governed by ERISA. Lincoln denied our client’s ERISA benefits claim, asserting that the symptoms from her COPD did not prevent her from working in a sedentary occupation. She desired to hire the best ERISA insurance lawyers in California and found McKennon Law Group PC. We took over communication with Lincoln and appealed the disability benefits claim denial. We pointed out in a detailed letter how and why Lincoln improperly denied her disability insurance claim. Shortly after receiving our appeal letter, Lincoln overturned it claims denial and paid the full amount of her claim and continues to pay her disability claim.
- Disability Insurer Chooses Mediation Over a Lawsuit, Agrees to Pay Past & Future Benefits, Bad-Faith Damages & Attorneys’ Fees to Our Tax Compliance Officer Client
Our client, a tax compliance officer for the City of Los Angeles, could no longer perform her job or any other for which she was qualified because of debilitating back pain. Her insurer granted her disability benefits for nearly two years then subsequently denied her claim after conducting surveillance. Because our client worked for a governmental entity, her disability insurance claim denial was governed by California law, not ERISA. She wanted to find the best bad faith insurance attorneys in Southern California to aggressively pursue her benefits. She thus hired McKennon Law Group PC. We have a very strong reputation with all disability insurers in California, especially with our client’s insurer. The insurer was interested in a pre-litigation mediation to avoid a lawsuit. At the mediation, we convinced the insurer to pay a six-figure buy-out settlement covering our client’s past and future disability benefits, bad faith damages and attorney’s fees.
- Long-Term-Disability Insurer Agrees to Pay Full Benefits & Attorneys’ Fees to Our VP Client Disabled by Severe Effects of Leukemia Treatments
Our client, a former Vice President of Sales and Design, after being diagnosed with leukemia, underwent whole-brain radiation and four phases of chemotherapy that left her with severe nerve damage, constant weakness, fatigue, nausea and joint pain. After paying long-term disability benefits to her for over 15 years, her long-term group disability insurer suddenly terminated her benefits. After the disability insurer denied her appeal to overturn the claim denial, she wanted to hire very experienced ERISA disability attorneys. McKennon Law Group PC filed an ERISA lawsuit against her disability insurer for past-due LTD benefits, future benefits, interest and attorneysʼ fees. Upon service of the lawsuit, the disability insurer immediately capitulated and agreed to settle the lawsuit before even filing a response to our complaint. The disability insurer paid our client all past-due long-term disability benefits she was owed with interest, placed her back on claim so that she will continue to receive future disability benefits, and paid 100% of our attorneysʼ fees and costs in order to avoid a motion for attorneysʼ fees, costs and interest.
- After Denial of His Long-Term Disability Claim, Our Asst. VP Client, Disabled by Severe Back Pain, Receives Six-Figure Settlement
Our client, the Assistant Vice President of Corporate Accounts for a global company, could no longer perform his job or any other for which he was qualified because of debilitating lumbar back pain following two spine surgeries. His group disability insurer denied his long-term disability benefits after the “own occupation” period claiming he could do another occupation that was sedentary. After other colleagues (who had successful results in their own ERISA disability cases with McKennon Law Group PC) highly recommended McKennon Law Group PC to handle his ERISA disability insurance claim denial, he hired us. For his appeal, we worked with his treating physicians and the client to develop medical and vocational evidence rebutting the insurer’s position. After the disability insurer denied his appeal, we filed an ERISA employee benefits lawsuit to overturn his disability claim denial. Armed with the evidence we had carefully created in the record, at a mediation the insurer agreed to pay a large, six-figure lump sum buy-out settlement covering his past and future disability benefits and his attorneysʼ fees.
- Life Insurer Alleges Deceased Insured Hid His Medical History, Refuses to Pay Death Benefits, Then Agrees to Large Settlement After We Threaten a Lawsuit
After her son tragically died in a motorcycle accident, our client filed a claim for life insurance benefits. Because her son purchased his life insurance policy less than two years before his death, the insurer conducted a contestability evaluation. After reviewing the son’s medical records, the insurer refused to pay the claim and instead attempted to rescind the life insurance policy, alleging that the son concealed his relevant medical history on the life insurance application. The Client wanted to hire the best life insurance attorneys he could find, McKennon Law Group PC. We were able to prove that the attempted rescission of the life insurance policy was incorrect. We established that the son disclosed his entire medical history to the insurer’s representative, and we were able to prove that the insurer’s representative was the agent of the insurer and the life insurer was responsible and it could not rescind the policy. Less than two months after we sent a letter to the insurer threatening a lawsuit, the company agreed to pay a large six-figure settlement to the family.
- Metropolitan Life Changes Its Mind on the Eve of Trial of Our Lawsuit, Agrees to Pay Full LTD Benefits to Our Financial Advisor Client Suffering From Psychological Disability; Client Awarded Almost $300,000 in Attorneys’ Fees, Costs and Interest in Addition to His Long-Term Disability Benefits
Our client could no longer perform the duties of his own occupation as a financial advisor because he suffers from severe depression, daily panic attacks and an inability to concentrate following his divorce and losing custody of his two young boys. After paying his long-term disability benefits for nineteen months, his group disability insurer, Metropolitan Life Insurance Company, wrongfully denied his disability claim. The firm filed a detailed ERISA lawsuit in federal court against MetLife seeking our client’s unpaid disability benefits. More than a year later, MetLife capitulated on the eve of trial and reversed its claim decision, agreeing to pay all our client’s disability benefits. We then filed a motion to recover our client’s attorneysʼ fees, costs and interest since our client prevailed in the lawsuit. MetLife aggressively opposed our motion. The Court in the Southern District of California rejected all of MetLife’s arguments and awarded 100% of our client’s attorneys’ fees without deducting one penny from our requested attorneys’ fees.
- Long-Term-Disability Insurer Agrees to Six-Figure Settlement for Our Dentist Client Suffering From Severe Wrist Pain
After undergoing surgery to relieve painful wrist symptoms caused by tenosynovitis and carpal tunnel syndrome, our client, a dentist, was unable to continue working in her dental practice. Despite being unable to perform dental procedures, our client would regularly visit her dental practice to complete paperwork and monitor employees. The client’s insurer approved her claim for long-term disability benefits, but subsequently denied her claim six months later after conducting surveillance. By the time our client found the McKennon Law Group PC, she had already returned to work a few days per week performing limited dental procedures. Our client preferred not to litigate the case so we worked with the insurer on a pre-litigation settlement. We convinced the insurer to pay a solid six-figure sum to settle her claims under her long-term disability insurance policy.
- Our Client Loses All Vision in One Eye, Is Initially Denied LTD Benefits, Then Liberty Mutual Reverses Denial Due to Our Appeal
Our client was a Procurement Specialist with a large engineering firm when he suffered a complete loss of vision in his left eye. With only one good eye, reading and staring at a computer screen caused our client to suffer from eye strains, headaches, problem with depth perception and fatigue, rendering him unable to work. Our client filed a long-term disability claim with his long-term disability insurer, Liberty Mutual. Liberty Mutual denied his claim. He then hired the McKennon Law Group PC. We convinced his doctor to write a letter supporting his disability claim, which we submitted along with a detailed appeal letter explaining why Liberty Mutual violated ERISA and why it should reverse its claim decision. After receiving our compelling ERISA appeal letter, Liberty Mutual overturned its claim denial and our client was paid his past-due benefits, and will receive full long-term disability insurance benefits under his disability policy well into the future.
- CIGNA/LINA Agrees to Pay Long-Term Disability Benefits to Our Client with a Severe Spinal Injury After Ending Her Benefits for Psychological Problems Caused by Cancer Treatment
Our client, an engineer, suffered from a number of psychological problems after undergoing treatment for breast cancer. After paying long-term disability benefits for over a year, CIGNA Group Insurance/Life Insurance Company of North America (“LINA”) denied her ERISA long-term disability claim asserting that her psychiatric symptoms were not severe enough to prevent her from working. Because this was a mental-nervous medical condition, the benefits would have been paid for only two years. The same month LINA terminated payment of disability benefits, our client was involved in an automobile accident that severely injured her spine. McKennon Law Group PC handled her ERISA appeal and convinced LINA to approve her claim for long-term disability benefits based on her spinal injury, allowing her to receive disability benefits for well beyond the two-year period. LINA fully reinstated the claim, paid all past-due benefits to our client and will likely pay her long-term disability benefits until the end of the maximum benefit period under her ERISA disability plan.
- Our Optometrist’s Assistant Client with Rheumatoid Arthritis Prevails Against Guardian Life After it Initially Denied Her Long-Term Disability Claim Due to Pre-Existing Conditions
Our client, an Optometrist’s Assistant, was forced to stop working due to rheumatoid arthritis and constant infections, and filed a claim for long-term disability benefits. While there was no reasonable dispute regarding her inability to continue working, Guardian Life Insurance Company of America denied her claim under the ERISA Plan’s pre-existing condition provision. In an ERISA appeal letter, the McKennon Law Group PC explained to Guardian that it misapplied the terms of the Plan and improperly ignored other factors which demonstrated that the pre-existing condition provision was not a proper basis on which to deny her long-term disability claim. When confronted with the evidence, Guardian reversed its claim denial decision, fully reinstated the claim and paid all past-due benefits. Given the nature of her condition, our client will likely receive long-term disability benefits until the end of the maximum benefit period under her ERISA disability plan, which is a huge victory for our client.
- Long-Term Disability Insurer Agrees to Pay All Benefits to Our Client Who Suffered a Concussion From a Grave Fall Down Stairs, After We Showed Its Disability Claim Denial Was in Bad Faith
Our client fell down a flight of stairs and landed on the pavement, headfirst, suffering a severe concussion. Over time, it became clear that the effects of her fall (migraine headaches, light and noise sensitivity, and related nausea) would be permanent. Yet, despite accepting premiums for our client’s individual disability insurance policy for many years, the insurer denied her claim for disability benefits. By the time she found the McKennon Law Group PC, our client had already completed two appeals directly to the insurer, with no success. We quickly worked with the client to gather additional support and then drafted and sent a detailed demand letter directly to our contact in the legal department of the insurer. We detailed at length how the insurer breached its contract with our client and how it engaged in bad faith conduct, subjecting it to insurance bad faith liability under California law, including punitive and emotional-distress damages, plus attorneys’ fees. The insurer acknowledged our highly respected reputation and to avoid litigation, agreed to pay 100% of our client’s benefits, with interest, as well as additional damages for its insurance bad faith conduct, including emotional distress damages and attorneys’ fees, a six-figure total.
- Couple Whose Daughter Died in an Auto Accident Receives Life/Accidental Death Benefits After Lawsuit Against the Insurer
Our clients came to the McKennon Law Group PC when, tragically, their daughter, age 21, died in a car accident. They filed claims for life and accidental death benefits as beneficiaries of their daughter’s employer-sponsored life insurance ERISA plan. The insurer denied the life and accidental death insurance claims despite making several representations that our clients’ deceased daughter would be covered. The insurer alleged that their daughter had not met the plan’s eligibility requirements. We immediately assessed that our clients could win the case and, within 30 days after we filed a lawsuit for recovery of ERISA plan benefits and breach of fiduciary duty, the plan administrator and the insurer agreed to pay 100% of our clients’ benefits, with interest and 100% of her attorney’s fees (an amount in the six figures). Our clients were finally able to put this entire tragic matter behind them.
- Life Insurance Company Agrees to Pay Benefits to Our Client Whose Spouse Died, After We Filed Suit Based on Unique Legal Theories
After her spouse died, our client filed a claim for life insurance benefits as a beneficiary of her employer-sponsored life insurance plan. Despite accepting premiums for years, the insurer denied coverage, alleging that our client failed to provide proof of insurability. By the time our client found the McKennon Law Group PC, she had already completed the internal appeals process, with no success. Facing a tight deadline, we quickly developed a winning strategy. We filed a lawsuit under ERISA using unique legal theories most ERISA attorneys do not even know about and within a month of filing the recovery of ERISA benefits complaint, the insurer and employer agreed to overturn the denial of her life insurance claim and pay 100% of our client’s benefits, with interest and all of her attorneys’ fees. This allowed our client to keep 100% of her benefits. After years of fighting with her ERISA plan administrators, our client finally received all of the life insurance benefits she deserved.
- Children Receive Life/Accidental Death Benefits Plus Bad Faith Damages and Attorneys’ Fees After the Insurer Refuses Coverage for Mother’s Death in a Shower
Two young adults were crushed by the premature death of their beloved mother and best friend. Their grief was compounded when their mother’s life and accidental death insurer wrongfully accused her of committing suicide and, based on the life insurance and accidental death insurance policy exclusions, denied their claim. The insurer deceptively told them that the federal law of ERISA applied to their claim to attempt to lead them to believe that the insurer faced no exposure for bad faith liability under California law. The McKennon Law Group PC was hired and after a thorough workup proved to the insurer that the death was an accident, not a suicide, and proved that ERISA did not apply as the insurer asserted it did. The life insurer agreed to pay the full claim but then delayed paying it. We filed a bad faith lawsuit against the insurer. A mediation resulted in the insurer paying a mid-to-high six-figure settlement just to settle the bad faith claim, in addition to paying all our clients’ life and accidental death insurance benefits owed under the policies, which covered all their attorneys’ fees and their emotional distress. Many of these damages would not have been recoverable by our clients under ERISA, where life, health and disability claimant remedies are more limited.
- On an ERISA Appeal, CIGNA/LINA Reverses Its Denial of Long-Term Disability Benefits to Our Computer-Programmer Client Suffering From Disabling Back Conditions
Our client, a computer programmer, stopped working due to a combination of disabling back conditions, including degenerative disc disease, scoliosis and spinal stenosis. Despite our client undergoing back surgery, CIGNA Group Insurance/Life Insurance Company of North America (“LINA”) denied the ERISA long-term disability claim based on a finding by an in-house nurse that the medical records did not support his claim. The McKennon Law Group PC agreed to help the insured with his ERISA appeal, and worked with his primary treating physician on a letter directly challenging the conclusions reached by LINA’s in-house nurse and further certifying his disability. In our detailed appeal letter, we pointed out the many legal and factual flaws in LINA’s decision and LINA quickly reversed its claim denial decision, fully reinstated the claim and paid all past-due benefits to our client. Given that his condition is degenerative in nature, our client will likely continue to be entitled to receive his long-term disability benefits until the end of the maximum benefit period under his ERISA disability plan.
- Anthem Blue Cross Refuses Payment for Life-Saving Drug for Our Client Suffering From Leukemia, Then Reverses its Decision on Appeal
Our client was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia, and due to the nature of his leukemia, he was able to benefit significantly from a new drug recently approved by the FDA. Despite the life-saving effects of the new drug, his health insurer, Anthem Blue Cross, refused to cover the approximately $24,000 per bottle cost of the medication under his medical insurance policy. Shortly after making initial contact with our client’s health insurer and advising them of McKennon Law Group PC’s representation to challenge the medical insurance claim denial, Anthem changed their decision and decided to cover the full cost of the new medication, which will likely save his life.
- Long-Term-Disability Insurer Agrees to Pay Our Disabled Cardiologist Client Long-Term Disability Benefits After Receiving Our Demand Letter, Even Complimenting Us on Our Work
Our client, an invasive cardiologist, became disabled early in his career. Once he could no longer practice, he applied for long-term disability benefits through an ERISA-governed policy. The insurer approved the claim, but incorrectly determined the date of disability and pre-disability income, which resulted in hundreds of thousands of dollars in missing benefits. By the time our client found the McKennon Law Group PC, he had seen several attorneys and completed the internal appeals process, with no success. After being told we were some of the best insurance attorneys in the business, he travelled across the country to meet with us. We did not disappoint. Against a tight deadline, complicated policy and extensive record, the firm developed a strategy for success. We worked directly with the insurer, providing a detailed demand letter and additional support. After the insurer’s review, it commented on our quality work product, respected reputation and agreed to pay (100%) of our client’s missing benefits, with interest and attorney’s fees (an amount in the mid-six figures), to settle the matter and to avoid litigation.
- Family Receives Life Insurance Benefits for Father’s Death After We Torpedo the Insurance Company’s Invalid Lapse of Coverage
After her father passed away and her father’s life insurer denied the family’s claim for life insurance benefits, our clients hired us. Although the insurer initially appeared to process the claim, requesting information and documents from the grieving family, it later denied the claim for failure to pay premiums. The denial shocked our clients because their father had paid premiums for many years and they were unaware of any failure to pay. Further, in the last few months of his life, their father was very ill and in and out of the hospital. At first, McKennon Law Group PC attempted to work directly with the life insurer, informing them that they had failed to provide the proper notice of pending lapse as required under California law. The insurer did not agree with our position despite a recent case to the contrary. We then filed suit for breach of contract and insurance bad faith, and the insurer fought the claim. After full briefing on a motion to dismiss, the defendants withdrew their motion and settled, paying 100% of our clients’ death benefits so that our clients were fully paid.
- Our Client Who Disclosed His Leukemia Upfront Receives Cancer Policy and Short-Term-Disability Policy Benefits After the Insurer Initially Refused Pay for Treatments Due to Pre-Existing Condition
After being diagnosed with leukemia, our client purchased a cancer policy and a short-term disability policy from an insurer through the insurer’s agent. Prior to purchasing the policies, our client informed the agent of his leukemia diagnosis and was told by the agent that his diagnosis would not prevent him from collecting benefits under the policies. However, the insurer immediately denied our client’s benefit claims after his leukemia treatment began. The insurer claimed that the cancer policy was invalid and benefits were not payable under the short-term disability policy because our client’s leukemia diagnosis was a pre-existing condition. McKennon Law Group PC argued that the insurer was liable for the representations of its agent and it must pay benefits under both policies and threatened to sue the insurer for insurance bad faith. To avoid the lawsuit, the insurer immediately settled our client’s claim for 100% of the benefits owed under both policies, in addition to paying a significant amount for extra-contractual damages for the insurer’s bad faith conduct.
- Long-Term-Disability Insurer Agrees to Pay Full Policy Benefits Plus Emotional Distress Damages and Attorneys’ Fees to Our Police Department Client Suffering From Multiple Sclerosis
Our client, a police department employee, became disabled from multiple sclerosis, a debilitating neurological disorder. She filed a long-term disability claim, which was denied despite strong evidence of her disability. It soon became apparent through discovery that the insurer conducted a very cursory review, and failed to obtain the basic medical records and information needed to review the claim. After the Firm filed a complaint in the District Court for breach of contract and insurance bad faith, the parties conducted a mediation, at which the insurer agreed to pay a very large, six-figure settlement that allowed our client to receive 100% of her long-term disability benefits due to her, in addition to substantial emotional distress damages and all of her attorney’s fees and costs.
- Our Client Receives All His Disability Benefits and Much More in Bad-Faith Damages After We Prove His Case Was Not Governed by ERISA
Our client contacted our firm when a third-party administrator denied his claim for disability insurance benefits under his employer’s group disability plan. Our client first appealed the denial on his own, but the administrator affirmed its original denial. Initially, the administrator a treated the case as an ERISA case, in the hope of limiting its damages. When McKennon Law Group PC was hired, everything changed. We requested the claim file and shortly thereafter, we determined that ERISA did not govern the plan because it fell under one of the Department of Labor’s regulatory exemptions. This was a significant development. After we filed suit for insurance bad faith, the defendant fought the bad faith claim. Once it was clear that our client would win a motion to dismiss the bad faith claim, the defendants settled, paying 100% of the client’s disability benefits and paying significant additional compensation as bad faith damages in several multiples of the amount of the disability claim.
- CIGNA Reinstates Full Long-Term-Disability Benefits to Our Corporate Engineer Client on Second Appeal After We Show Its Denial Was Incorrect
Our client, a corporate engineer, contacted the McKennon Law Group PC after CIGNA twice denied his claim for long-term disability benefits under his ERISA plan. After initially agreeing that he was unable to continue working due to an autoimmune disease that caused severe pain, fatigue and an inability to concentrate, CIGNA suddenly declared that his medical records no longer supported his disability claim. Our client first appealed the denial on his own, but CIGNA stood by its decision. However, after he hired the McKennon Law Group PC, we augmented the Administrative Record and prepared a detailed second appeal letter identifying all of the ways in which CIGNAʼs claim decision was legally and factually incorrect. CIGNA quickly reversed its decision and reinstated the claim in full, allowing our client to receive his past-due benefits, as well as his benefits each month in the future.
- After Our Appeal, Prudential Agrees to Reverse Its Denial and Pay Full Past and Future Long-Term-Disability Benefits to Our Client Suffering From Multiple Serious Aliments
Our client, who suffers from chronic lung infections, severe fatigue and skin infections, was receiving long-term disability benefits under an ERISA plan issued by Prudential. After receiving benefits for twelve years, while in the hospital battling yet another infection, Prudential suddenly denied his disability claim. The McKennon Law Group PC worked with the client and his doctors to gather evidence for an appeal, and eventually submitted a detailed appeal letter that identified why the claim decision should be overturned. Prudential reversed its denial decision, and quickly paid all of the past due benefits, and is continuing to make monthly disability payments to our client worth many hundreds of thousands of dollars. We expect that our client will never again need to worry that Prudential will deny his claim for long-term disability benefits.
- Long-Term-Disability Insurer Agrees to Pay Our Client a Large Settlement After Our Expert Picks Apart Their Basis for Denial
After receiving long-term disability benefits for over ten years, our client’s claim for disability benefits was denied. Realizing that she needed help with the complicated ERISA appeal process, she hired the McKennon Law Group PC for help her fight for her disability benefits. The McKennon Law Group PC hired an expert to criticize the medical opinion the insurer relied on to deny the claim. Eventually, we convinced the insurer to pay our client a large settlement so she would not have to deal with the insurer ever again.
- Our Marketing Strategist Client Suffering From a Severe Neurological Disability Receives a Large Settlement After We Present Undeniable Evidence of Her Long-Term Disability
A severe reaction to prescription antibiotics left our client with a permanent neurological disability, tragically, just a 35-year-old marketing strategist from Washington State. With her entire life ahead of her, she can no longer perform her material job duties. Because of debilitating tremors, tics and severe speech disruption, she could not effectively pitch marketing ideas. Despite that, her group long-term disability insurer denied her claim for long-term disability benefits. She hired the McKennon Law Group PC who collected and presented substantial evidence of her disability. After the insurer obstinately denied her appeal, we filed an ERISA lawsuit in the state of Washington and submitted the same indisputable evidence of disability, including a video proving she could barely speak. Without a mediation or trial, the insurer promptly reversed course and agreed to pay a settlement exceeding one-half million dollars, which included all her past due disability benefits, all future benefits for the policy’s entire remaining 30-year period, substantial attorneys’ fees and interest.
- Life Insurance Company Agrees to Refund All Our Client’s Policy Premium Payments and Pay Her Additional Compensation After Its Agent Duped Her With False Promises
Our client attended a seminar on saving for retirement using life insurance, and purchased a universal life insurance policy based on the promise that it would provide a high level of tax-free retirement benefits. Our client eventually realized that the insurance agent was not honest with her, and that the policy could never perform as promised. After she hired McKennon Law Group PC, we engaged an expert who prepared a report detailing the numerous ways in which the agent violated of her duties and responsibilities as an insurance agent. Armed with this report and without even filing litigation, the McKennon Law Group PC convinced the insurer and the agent’s principal agency to fully refund all of the premiums our client paid for the policy and pay an additional amount to compensate her for her other damages.
- MetLife Abandons Its Intoxication Exclusion Defense and Pays Our Widow Client Full Accidental-Death Benefits
Our client, a widow, contacted the McKennon Law Group PC following the death of her husband in a bicycle accident. The client had purchased Accidental Death coverage for her spouse. The insurer, MetLife, initially balked at paying the claim because the Policy contained an exclusion that if the decedent was intoxicated at the time of the accident, and the insurer asked for a copy of medical records which showed that the decedent had been legally intoxicated at the time of the accident that led to his death. Our Firm took over communicating with MetLife, and given our firm’s strong reputation for aggressive advocacy, MetLife decided not to rely on the intoxication exclusion and quickly approved the claim. MetLife paid our client the full amount of the accidental death benefits, with interest.
- Long-Term-Disability Insurer Agrees to Pay Our Client, a Business Relationship Manager, a Six-Figure Settlement to Cover Her Mental-Disability Benefits and Attorneys’ Fees
Our client, a business relationship manager for Chase Bank, could no longer perform her job because of crippling depression, anxiety and panic attacks. Her group long-term disability insurer denied her ERISA claim for long-term disability benefits when she desperately needed the money to pay her bills. She then searched for the best ERISA disability insurance law firm she could find and hired the McKennon Law Group PC. For her appeal, we worked with her treating physicians to develop evidence rebutting the insurer’s position. After the disability insurer denied her appeal, we filed an ERISA lawsuit. Armed with the evidence we had carefully created in the administrative record and which we needed to prevail, at a mediation the insurer agreed to pay a large, six-figure settlement, which included the policy’s entire 24-month limit for mental disability benefits plus much more, as well as substantial attorneys’ fees and interest.
- Long-Term-Disability Insurer Agrees to Pay a Big Six-Figure Lump-Sum Buyout to Our Attorney Client
The McKennon Law Group PC was initially hired by a young trial attorney when her insurer denied her ERISA claim for long-term disability benefits. Eventually, and with the help of a neurophysiologist we hired to review the so-called “independent” report prepared by an insurer’s doctor, we were able to convince the insurer to reverse its denial decision. While the client was happy her claim was reinstated, under the terms of the LTD Plan, she was required to constantly demonstrate that she remained disabled. Further, she understood that the insurer, at any time, could hire private investigators to videotape her activities, force her to submit to another “independent” medical examination or even simply decide to again deny her disability insurance claim. Accordingly, she asked us to see if the insurer would agree to a lump sum buyout of her ERISA claim. We were able to convince the insurer to pay a large six-figure lump sum payment to “buy-out” her long-term disability insurance claim.
- Unum Changes Its Mind, Agrees to Pay Full Disability Benefits to Our Veterinarian Client Suffering From Drug Addition Who Lost His Job, License and Freedom
A veterinarian could no longer perform the job he loved, found himself incarcerated, was terminated by his employer and lost his professional license, all because of his tragic addiction to methamphetamines. His group short-term and long-term disability insurer, Unum, turned its back on him, denying his claims for disability benefits in his time of need. The McKennon Law Group PC promptly stepped in and submitted an ERISA appeal on the veterinarian’s behalf. We overcame many difficult legal challenges like proving his disability commenced before his coverage ended, yet not too early such that it was subject to the policy’s pre-existing condition exclusion. We also proved the client’s substance abuse disability caused him to lose his license (not the reverse) and, therefore, was not subject to the policy’s exclusion for disabilities caused by the loss of a professional license. Unum reversed its claim denial and paid 100% of the client’s disability benefits without him having to file a lawsuit.
- Our Client, Made Critically Ill and Disabled by a Bad Fall, Receives Full Accelerated Death Benefits From Her Insurer After Our In-Depth Appeal
Our client, a physician, applied for accelerated death benefits under a critical and chronic illness rider to her life insurance policy issued by American General Life Insurance Company, after she suddenly became critically ill from a bad fall. She hired McKennon Law Group PC because her insurer denied her claim for accelerated death benefits under her life insurance policy when she needed it the most, as she was no longer able to work because of her severely deteriorated health. We gathered and evaluated the relevant evidence and determined that the insurer improperly denied the claim. Shortly thereafter, we prepared a thorough appeal letter and enclosed additional documents (including a letter from her doctor) that the insurer should have sought upon its investigation of the claim. Ultimately, as a result of our appeal, the insurer reversed its denial and paid the accelerated benefits in full. We then pursued a bad faith insurance case against the insurer for its wrongful initial denial of her life insurance claim in which our client sought unpaid interest, emotional distress damages, attorney’s fees and punitive damages. Our client reached a very favorable confidential settlement of her bad faith claim against the insurer.
- Children Receive Full Payments for Deceased Mother’s Long-Term-Care Bills From the Insurer, Later Receive Further Compensation Because of Its Bad Faith
Our clients hired McKennon Law Group PC because their elderly mother’s group long-term care insurer strung them along for fifteen months without paying the claim. The insurer refused to pay their claim for the in-home health care and nursing home bills their mother incurred leading up to her death. She suffered from dementia, was bedridden and could not perform basic activities of daily living on her own, yet the insurer kept delaying paying her obviously covered long-term care claim. Two weeks after the Firm was hired and 13 days after it demanded payment, the insurer paid all past-due long-term care benefits owed under the policy. The Firm then sent a detailed settlement demand letter explaining how the insurer acted in bad faith. The insurer decided to reach a confidential settlement by paying our clients additional compensation well exceeding the policy’s benefits, without them having to file a lawsuit.
- Long-Term-Disability Insurer Pays Benefits to Our Vice President Client for 6 Years Before Stopping Them, Then Agrees to a Six-Figure Settlement to Avoid Losing Our Lawsuit
Our client, a vice president of a multi-state company, experienced major depression and severe pain that was not relieved with multiple treatments, including a spinal fusion. He filed a long-term disability claim that was paid for over 6 years. The disability insurer suddenly terminated payment of his long-term disability benefits after it determined he could work in his occupation, despite no improvement in his condition. After our client appealed the insurer’s decision, the insurer upheld the termination of disability benefits based upon the opinion of its consulting physician, who determined he was capable of working full-time. Looking for the most experienced ERISA attorneys in California, our client hired McKennon Law Group PC. We filed a lawsuit under ERISA to recover the disability insurance benefits he deserved. Faced with a daunting litigation, the insurer agreed to attend early mediation prior to being served with the complaint. At the mediation, we secured a highly favorable substantial six-figure confidential settlement to resolve all of his claims against the disability insurer.
- Our Adult Children Clients Receive Full Life and Accidental Death Benefits for Mother’s Tragic Demise After the Insurer Falsely Claimed It Was Suicide
Our clients, a brother and sister both in their early 20’s, were devastated by the tragic and unexpected death of their 53-year-old mother, found lifeless in the shower strangled by the showerhead hose. They filed an accidental death claim under their mother’s accidental death policy. Their claim was denied after the insurer hired an expert who found their mother’s death was a suicide. The basis of the insurer’s claim denial under a suicide exclusion. They searched for the most experienced accidental death attorneys they could find and hired McKennon Law Group PC. One adult child was finishing up college and the other was in law school, and with no remaining parent earning an income, they desperately needed the money and they earnestly desired to clear their mother’s name. We evaluated all of the information and concluded that the insurer had improperly denied the claim because the mother’s death was an accident, not a suicide. We hired a biomechanical expert who reconstructed the accident and we then wrote a detailed appeal letter to the accidental death insurer proving unequivocally the death was an accident, not a suicide. The insurer agreed with our expert and our legal assertions and reversed its claim decision and paid 100% of the life and accidental death benefits owed. Later, our clients filed a lawsuit against the insurer for insurance bad faith. The insurer resolved the claims with a confidential settlement in which our clients received a large lump-sum payment to resolve their claims.
- Our Aerospace Engineer Client Suffering From a Severe Spine Ailment and Back Pain Receives Full Short-Term-Disability Benefits and Attorneys’ Fees Due To McKennon Law Group PC’s Lawsuit
After 30 years as an aerospace engineer, our client could no longer work due to extreme back pain. His doctors diagnosed him with degenerative disc disease and prescribed powerful pain relievers. Unable to return to work, he filed a claim for short-term disability benefits. The claim was initially approved, but the insurer cut off his benefits with its claim denial. He appealed, to no avail. The McKennon Law Group PC filed an ERISA lawsuit seeking the disability benefits he was owed. Two months later, the disability insurer agreed to pay our client all of his short-term disability benefits owed, in addition to paying his reasonable attorneys’ fees and costs. Because the McKennon Law Group PC convinced the insurer to pay attorneys’ fees and costs, our client was able to keep 100% of his disability insurance benefits.
- Life Insurance Company Reverses Its Denial, Agrees to Pay Our Young Client’s Claim After His Father’s Death, Plus Payments for Bad Faith and Emotional Distress
A young man hired the McKennon Law Group PC when a life insurance company refused to pay the benefits due after his father’s death because his father allegedly made misrepresentations on his insurance application and therefore the insurer asserted it could rescind the life policy. He had no parents left and desperately needed the life insurance proceeds. His father’s very good friend assisted the young man to search for and hire the best life insurance attorneys in California and he found and hired McKennon Law Group PC. We first convinced the insurer to pay the life insurance claim of $250,000 without resorting to litigation by pointing out flaws in the insurer’s analysis and threatening litigation. The insurer capitulated and, following the receipt of the life insurance benefits, the Firm sent a detailed letter to the insurer explaining how its failure to promptly pay the claim and failure to adequately explain why it denied the claim constituted insurance bad faith. Faced with certain devastating litigation, the insurer asked to go to a mediation, eventually paying our client more in potential bad faith and emotional distress damages than the value of the original life insurance policy. Our client was able to collect substantially more than the face value of the original life insurance policy, even after accounting for the firm’s fees and costs.
- Long-Term-Disability Insurer Reinstates Benefits to Our Business Analyst Client Suffering From Neck Pain and a Disc Ailment After We Showed in Our Appeal That the Denial Was Defective
Our client, a business analyst with a large automotive financial company, became disabled when extreme neck pain, disc displacement and radiculopathy prevented her from sitting and working at a computer for more than a couple of hours a day. Initially, her long-term disability insurer approved her claim for long-term disability benefits under an ERISA plan. However, less than a year later, the insurer denied her claim, arguing that surveillance of her sitting in a coffee shop and going to a Cross-fit gym proved that she was not disabled. She hired the McKennon Law Group PC, and we prepared a detailed appeal letter seeking to overturn the denial of her disability benefits. The appeal letter outlined the legal and factual problems with the insurer’s denial decision. After receiving the letter, the insurer reversed its denial decision, reinstated her claim for long-term disability benefits and is continuing to pay her each month.
- Medical Billing Rep Receives Full Long-Term-Disability Benefits, Plus Attorneys’ Fees, After We Filed an ERISA Complaint Against the Insurer
Our client, a 62-year-old medical billing representative, was forced to stop working due to debilitating back, neck and shoulder pain. Even invasive back surgery did not relieve the pain. Initially, her long-term disability insurer paid her claim for long-term disability insurance benefits, but after only four months, the insurer determined that she could return to work, despite the fact that all of her treating physicians firmly stated that she was unable to continue working. She then hired the McKennon Law Group PC. We filed an ERISA Complaint on her behalf and shortly after the filing of the Complaint, we reached a highly favorable confidential settlement with her disability insurer, allowing her to receive 100% of the past-due and future disability benefits that she was entitled to recover. The disability insurer also paid her attorney’s fees incurred to pursue her case.
- Disability Insurer Agrees to Pay Full Past and Future Benefits, Plus Attorneys’ Fees, to Our Service Engineer Client Who Suffered From Back Ailments and Depression Due to a Fall and His Inability To Work
A service engineer who fell while at work resulting in herniation of a lumbar disc was forced to stop working due to his debilitating pain, muscle weakness, fatigue and resulting depression. After initially approving his claim for short-term and long-term disability benefits, his disability insurer later terminated his claim for benefits once the definition of “disability” in his policy changed from requiring he be incapable of performing his “own occupation” to require he be incapable of performing “any occupation.” After our client appealed the insurer’s decision, the insurer upheld the termination of disability benefits based upon the opinion of its consulting physician, who determined he was capable of working full-time in a sedentary position. McKennon Law Group PC filed a lawsuit under ERISA in order to recover the disability benefits he deserved. At mediation, we convinced the insurer to pay the full net present value of all past-due benefits owing, future disability benefits, and some of his attorney’s fees without having to go to trial.
- Financial Advisor, Disabled by Severe Back Pain, Receives Full Past and Future Disability Benefits Despite an Adverse Ruling by a Social Security Judge, Due to Our Vigorous Effort
Our client, a financial advisor at a leading investment banking firm, could no longer perform the duties of his own occupation because he has debilitating low back pain. After paying his long-term disability benefits for four years, the disability insurer, Met Life, terminated them relying on a vague opinion from his treating physician that he could “return to work with accommodation” and an administrative law judge’s decision that he was not disabled under Social Security rules. McKennon Law Group PC, as our client’s disability benefits attorneys, filed an ERISA lawsuit seeking his disability benefits after the client unsuccessfully appealed. Upon evaluating the disability insurer’s claim file, the firm decided it needed additional evidence in the record to use at trial to win the case. We filed two motions to augment the trial record, which the disability insurer vigorously opposed. The firm prevailed on both motions and highly favorable comments by the judge forced the insurer to immediately resolve the case by paying our client all past-due and future benefits it owed to him. We then filed a motion for attorneys’ fees, interest and costs seeking almost $300,000. MetLife vigorously opposed the motion but the court rejected all of its arguments and ordered that MetLife pay 100% of our attorneys’ fees, in addition to our client’s interest and costs.
- Long-Term-Disability Insurer Agrees to Pay Our CPA Client Past-Due Benefits and Future Benefits, Plus Attorneys’ Fees and Emotional Distress for Bad-Faith Refusal to Pay Claim
Our client, a CPA, could no longer perform the duties of her occupation because she has Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (“EDS”), a rare hypermobility connective tissue disorder. Her long-term disability insurer abruptly terminated her long-term disability benefits, after paying them for twenty-two months, based on surveillance of her. After the client filed an appeal to no avail, she retained McKennon Law Group PC to file a bad faith lawsuit to secure payment of the long-term disability benefits she was owed. We submitted an opinion letter from her physical therapist, an expert in EDS from Stanford University which led the insurer to reverse its claim decision without litigation. The disability insurer paid our client all back benefits plus interest and reinstated her future monthly benefits. We then threatened to move forward with bad faith litigation to recover damages caused by the insurer’s unreasonable delay in paying the client’s benefits, including the client’s emotional distress, attorneys’ fees, and punitive damages. It recovered almost a half-million dollars for the client just for the insurer’s bad faith delay, and the client retained the right to continue receiving her monthly disability benefits for life.
- Our Personal Banker Client Suffering From Back Pain and Spasms Receives All Past-Due and Future Benefits Plus Attorneys’ Fees From the Disability Insurer After We Filed ERISA Disability Lawsuit
The McKennon Law Group PC was contacted by a personal banker after his claim for long-term disability benefits was denied by his group disability insurer. Following an on-the-job accident, the banker experienced severe back pain and back spasms that prevented him from returning to work. When the disability insurer would not overturn its denial decision following an appeal, we filed an ERISA lawsuit seeking past-due long-term disability benefits and attorneys’ fees. Shortly after the complaint was filed, the insurer initiated settlement discussions that resulted in an agreement to pay the banker all of the past-due and future benefits payable under the policy, as well as his attorneys’ fees and costs. It was a total and complete victory for our client.
- Long-Term-Disability Insurer Reverses Its Decision, Agrees to Reinstate Benefits to Our Procurement-Officer Client Suffering From Multiple Disabling Conditions
A high-level procurement officer with a large aerospace company found himself unable to continue working due to a variety of conditions, including depression and anxiety. He filed a long-term disability claim but after initially agreeing that he was disabled, the insurance company reversed course without any evidence of improvement, denying not only his claim for long-term disability benefits, but also his claim for waiver of premium benefits under his life insurance policy. He search for the best ERISA disability advocates he could find and hired the McKennon Law Group PC. We prepared an appeal letter detailing all of the reasons the disability insurer’s decision was incorrect. After receiving the letter, the insurer reversed its denial decision and reinstated both his long-term disability benefits and his waiver of premium benefits for his life insurance policy, and is continuing to pay his disability benefits into the future.
- Trial Attorney Plagued With Osteoarthritis Who Lost a Big Case to Lead Attorney Robert McKennon, Then Hires Mr. McKennon to Successfully Secure His Long-Term-Disability Benefits
Our client, an accomplished trial attorney, was forced to end his trial career due to persistent pain caused by osteoarthritis and other medical issues with his knees. However, he was able to work on non-trial matters at his law firm. Despite his medical issues, his disability insurance company denied his claim for disability benefits asserting he could still perform most of the duties of his occupation. When looking for an attorney to handle his disability claim for bad faith against his disability insurer, he chose McKennon Law Group PC since he was impressed with Robert McKennon after he and Mr. McKennon previously litigated a three-week arbitration in which he lost to Mr. McKennon and in which Mr. McKennon’s client won an award of over $4 million. Highly impressed with Mr. McKennon’s trial skills and success in that case, he wanted Mr. McKennon and his firm on his side fighting for him. We prepared a detailed letter outlining why our client was entitled to his long-term disability benefits and we were able to negotiate a high six-figure settlement, an extremely positive result. See the client’s testimonial here.
- Long-Term-Disability Insurer Agrees to Pay Our Engineer Client a Six-Figure Settlement After We File Suit to Secure Benefits for Him
An engineer with a very demanding and technical job was forced to stop working due to anxiety and depression. He was denied long-term disability benefits by his disability insurance provider, after the insurer relied upon the opinion of a nurse consultant who reviewed his medical files and determined that our client did not have any restrictions that prevented him from performing his job duties. Our client appealed the insurer’s decision but the insurer upheld the claim denial after the insurer relied upon an opinion of a consulting psychologist who reviewed the medical records and determined that our client’s symptoms were not severe. He then hired McKennon Law Group PC. We filed suit under ERISA against his disability insurer and we secured a substantial six-figure settlement at mediation that paid him his full benefits owed under his disability policy plus additional funds to compensate him.
- Our Financial Expert Client, Suffering From Fatigue and Cognitive Impairment Due to MS, Receives All His Past and Future Long-Term-Disability Benefits on Appeal
After being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, our client, a financial expert witness with a very large income, was no longer able to work in his extremely demanding and detail oriented job due to his fatigue and cognitive impairment. He had two long-term disability policies and one short-term disability policy with two separate insurers, and both denied his claims for long-term disability benefits. The insurers both found that his medical records did not support his disability claim. McKennon Law Group PC hired a well-qualified neuropsychologist to rebut the findings of the insurer’s neuropsychologist and prepared three letters appealing the insurers’ denials of our client’s disability claims, describing how the medical records supported the claim for disability benefits and pointing out that the insurers relied upon the deficient opinions of peer review physicians and vocational analysts. After we submitted our appeal letters, the insurers reversed their decisions, immediately paying all past-due disability insurance benefits and placing our client back on claim and paying all future disability benefits.
- Long-Term-Disability Insurer Agrees to Pay a Six-Figure Settlement to Our Political Fundraiser Client Suffering From Neurological Ailments to Avoid Defending Against a Bad-Faith Lawsuit
A long-time political fundraiser began experiencing severe chronic back pain, muscle spasms, nerve pain and fatigue in the late 1980s. Eventually, he was forced to stop working because the pain and related symptoms made it impossible for him to travel and concentrate for long periods of time. The inability to travel was a big problem, as his job required extensive travel by car and airplane. He filed a disability claim with his insurer and after unsuccessfully fighting his insurer over his claim for long-term disability benefits for several years, he hired McKennon Law Group PC to negotiate a policy buy-out on his behalf or to sue the insurer. When the insurer failed to settle his claim during informal settlement discussions, we filed a bad faith complaint. Shortly thereafter and before it answered the complaint, the insurer agreed to pay a substantial six-figure settlement so it would not have to litigate the bad faith denial of the disability claim.
- Our Sedentary Worker Client Receives Full Short-Term Disability and Long-Term Disability Benefits From His Insurers; One of Them Also Pays His Attorneys’ Fees
Debilitating back pain prevented our client from continuing to work in his sedentary job because his pain became unbearable after sitting for short periods of time. When his short-term disability and long-term disability claims were denied by two different insurance companies, he hired the McKennon Law Group PC to file his ERISA appeals. When both insurance companies upheld their denial decisions, we filed two different lawsuits in Federal Court in San Diego so that he could recover the disability benefits he deserved. In both cases, the insurers quickly settled the lawsuits, allowing the client to receive his disability benefits and one of the insurers agreed to pay our client all of the money he was due, as well as his attorneys’ fees and costs.
- Life Insurance Company and Employer Refuse to Pay All Benefits to Our Widow Client When Her Husband Dies, Arguing Husband Never Submitted Statement of Good Health, Then Fully Pay Up When We File Suit
Our client, a widow mourning the death of her late husband, submitted a claim for life insurance benefits under an ERISA-governed policy he had purchased through his employer. Though he had dutifully paid premiums for years for $450,000 in coverage and was sent a personalized certificate of coverage for that amount, the life insurer refused to pay anything besides the “guarantee issue” benefit of $200,000. The insurer argued it had no duty to pay the higher benefit amount because her husband failed to submit evidence he was in good health when he enrolled for the life insurance policy. Neither the life insurer nor his employer bothered to alert him to the fact that the policy had any such requirement. Seeking the best ERISA lawyer he could find to file suit against the life insurer, he hired McKennon Law Group PC. We promptly filed ERISA litigation on the widow’s behalf and sued the employer and the insurer for breach of fiduciary duty. The insurer and the employer immediately backed down and we settled the lawsuit for the full policy benefits and all outstanding interest and all of the firm’s attorneys’ fees.
- Long-Term-Disability Insurer Reverses Denial of Long-Term Disability Claim and Agrees to Pay Benefits to Our Physician Client Suffering From Rheumatoid Arthritis and Lupus, Then Nixes Its Improper Offsets
Our client, a physician who was unable to continue to work due to depression, exhaustion and fatigue related to rheumatoid arthritis and lupus, filed a claim for long-term disability insurance benefits that was initially approved, but then later denied. She hired McKennon Law Group PC to help her with an appeal. McKennon Law Group PC quickly convinced the insurer to overturn the claim denial and pay our client all past-due and future long-term disability benefits owing to her. However, after reversing its decision, the insurer underpaid the physician by asserting improper offsets. Again, McKennon Law Group PC intervened and convinced the insurer that its position was incorrect.
- Long-Term-Disability Insurer Reverses Its Decision to Reject Our Attorney Client’s Claim, Agrees to Pay Past and Future Benefits to Her, After Our Expert Rebuts Its Expert’s Report
Our client, a young trial attorney, suffered from a variety of conditions, including lupus, Raynaud’s phenomenon and fibromyalgia. These conditions made it impossible for her to perform her duties as a trial attorney. After initially approving her ERISA long-term disability insurance claim, the ERISA claims administrator/insurer ordered our client to attend a day-long examination conducted by their paid neurophysiologist. The neurophysiologist prepared a report, which the insurer relied upon to deny her ERISA claim. This attorney hired McKennon Law Group PC. We then hired a neurophysiologist to rebut this report. That neurophysiologist prepared a thorough response and we appealed the denial. Based on this appeal, the insurer reversed its claim decision, and approved the attorney’s long-term disability insurance claim agreeing to pay all past-due benefits owing and to pay future disability benefits.
- Life Insurer Reverses Claim of Our Teenage Boy Client Who Then Receives Full Proceeds From His Father’s Life Insurance Policy After His Father’s Death
Our clients, a teenage boy and his guardian, approached McKennon Law Group PC for assistance with a life insurance claim that the insurer refused to pay. The boy’s father purchased a life insurance policy, but died within the two-year contestability period. After the boy filed a claim for the life insurance proceeds, the life insurer denied the claim, but would not tell him the reasons for claim denial. The insurer refused to have substantive discussions regarding its claim denial for over a year before McKennon Law Group PC got involved. Within one month, we were able to not only get the insurer to explain its denial decision (an attempt to rescind the policy for alleged material misrepresentations), but we also were able to get the claim denial decision overturned by pointing out the reasons the claim denial were not justified. Our clients were thus able to receive 100% of the life insurance death benefit they were owed in addition to bad faith damages.
- Insurance Company “Blinks” and Agrees to Pay Our IT Worker Client Past and Future Short-Term and Long-Term Disability Benefits, Plus Attorneys’ Fees and Costs
The McKennon Law Group PC’s client, an IT worker, was forced to stop working due to combination of psychological, gastrointestinal and musculoskeletal problems, and sought long-term and short-term disability insurance benefits under ERISA-governed policies provided by his employer. His claim for short-term disability benefits was initially approved; however, the insurer eventually denied his claim for further STD benefits and denied his claim for long-term disability benefits. The McKennon Law Group PC filed a lawsuit in the federal district court, and the insurance company capitulated, agreeing to pay our client all of his past-due benefits with interest, reinstate his long-term disability benefits and agreeing to pay all of his attorney’s fees and costs of the lawsuit so that our client could keep 100% of his disability insurance benefits.
- Our Client, an Attorney, Received Long-Term-Disability Benefits for a Decade, Then Is Cut Off; We Fight the Denial and Convince the Insurer to Overturn the Claim Denial
After paying an attorney long-term disability benefits for over a decade, an insurer decided to suddenly deny his ongoing claim for disability benefits. The attorney hired our firm to challenge the denial. After we aggressively fought the denial, the insurer reinstated our clients’ claim in full, and paid him the long-term disability benefits he was due.
- Long-Term-Disability Insurer Reverses Its Denial Decision of Optician Client’s Claim and Agrees to Pay Full Past and Future Benefits to Our Client Suffering from Osteoarthritis
An optician was unable to work due to a chronic and progressive condition that eats away at her cartilage causing severe osteoarthritis in her joints. The optician filed a claim for long-term disability benefits through the ERISA group disability plan provided by her employer. Ignoring the optician’s medical records and a letter from the optician’s doctor stating that she is unable to return to gainful employment, the insurer denied her claim for long-term disability benefits and asserted that she could work full-time at a sedentary job. The McKennon Law Group PC filed an appeal on the optician’s behalf pointing out all errors made by the insurance company, and successfully convinced the insurer to reverse its denial of benefits decision and pay all of her long-term disability insurance benefits owed since the claim was filed and to pay the monthly benefits to which she is entitled on an ongoing basis in the future.
- Suffering From Depression and Anxiety, Our Financial Advisor Client Finally Receives His Long-Term-Disability Benefits After We Prove the Insurer’s Evidence Is False and Its Methods Were Illegal
A financial advisor at a major bank was unable to work due to depression and anxiety. Despite this, and numerous statements from his treating physicians that he was unable work, an insurer denied his claim for long-term disability benefits under a policy governed by ERISA. That decision was based on the incorrect “discovery” that our client started his own business and returned to work. The McKennon Law Group PC demonstrated, not only that this was incorrect, but that the tactics used to gather that “evidence” violated the California Insurance Code. After initiating litigation, the Firm was able to secure a substantial settlement for the client that covered past due and future benefits, as well as attorneys’ fees and costs.
- Our Client, a Company Being Sued in a Contract Dispute, Pays a Small Fraction of the Claimed Damages Because of Our Defense Work
The McKennon Law Group PC represented a medium-sized company in a dispute involving a significant contract to purchase copiers and related services. The parties engaged in an early mediation, in which our client agreed to pay a small fraction of the alleged damages in order to avoid further litigation.
- Insurance Companies Initially Deny Our Banker Client’s Short-Term Disability and Long-Term Disability Claims Due to Failure to Meet Filing Deadlines, Then Are Persuaded by McKennon Law Group PC to Change Their Minds
A personal banker could no longer perform the duties of her occupation because of depression, fatigue, anxiety and insomnia. Those same conditions rendered her unable to file her claims for short-term disability benefits and long-term disability benefits in a timely manner. Two different insurance companies denied her claims disability benefits under policies governed by ERISA. The McKennon Law Group PC was able to convince the insurers to accept her late-filed claim, and after litigation, helped her obtain separate favorable settlements from both of the insurers.
- On Behalf of Our Paralegal Client, Suffering From Physical and Psychological Ailments Due to Workplace Harassment, We Overturn the 24-Month Limit on Her Long-Term Disability Benefits Imposed by Her Insurer
After experiencing workplace harassment, our client, a paralegal, began experiencing post-traumatic stress disorder, depression and panic disorder, as well as persistent stomach pains, debilitating headaches and insomnia. Her disability insurer denied her claim for long-term disability benefits under a group policy governed by ERISA, and took the position that even if the client was disabled, despite experiencing both physical and psychological symptoms, her claim was limited to two years of benefits by virtue of the mental illness limitation clause of the policy. Overturning the denial decision meant she would obtain significantly more benefits than if she accepted the insurer’s decision. She then sought out the best ERISA disability insurance attorneys she could find to assist her to aggressively fight the insurer’s position. She hired McKennon Law Group PC and after we filed litigation, our client was able to obtain a settlement where the insurer agreed to pay an amount substantially greater than two years of disability benefits.
- Life Insurer Initially Pays Benefits for Two Decades to Our Aerospace Engineer Client Who Was Partially Paralyzed, Then Cancels His Policy; Our Lawsuit Forces the Insurer to Reinstate Full Benefits and to Pay Her Attorneys’ Fees
An engineer at a large aerospace company suffered a severe stroke, with a brain hemorrhage, that left him permanently, partially paralyzed on his left side. He had group life insurance policy obtained through his employer. His life insurer determined he was disabled and therefore waived his life insurance premiums, as the policy required. After affording this benefit for over two decades and, despite that the engineer’s medical condition had not changed, the insurer inexplicably and unfairly decided to terminate his benefits and his policy. He had heard about the very strong reputation of The McKennon Law Group PC in fighting insurance company claim denials and hired us. We promptly stepped in and filed ERISA litigation on the engineer’s behalf, demanding that the insurer reinstate his life insurance coverage and continue waiving his premiums. His insurer immediately backed down based solely upon the detailed and persuasive Complaint we filed. The insurer immediately reinstated his life insurance policy, gave him a zero premium balance, waived his future premium payments, and paid 100% of his attorneys’ fees and costs to bring his legal action.
- Daughter of a Deceased Life Insurance Policyholder Receives the Policy’s Death Benefit After We Convince the Insurer It Was Wrong to Withhold That Benefit
The McKennon Law Group PC was recently able to secure ERISA life insurance benefits for the daughter of the policyholder, without litigation, after convincing the life insurance company that the decision to lapse a life insurance policy for non-payment of premiums was incorrect. Before his death, the insured received a premium invoice listing amounts due for two different policies – group universal life insurance and accidental death and dismemberment insurance. The insured decided he only wanted the life insurance coverage, and so paid the premium amount identified for that coverage. The insurance company never informed the insured that he needed to pay the premiums for both types of coverage in order to keep any coverage in effect. Confusingly, the insurer then sent a second premium notice that included a premium amount for the accidental death and dismemberment insurance that was different from the initial premium notice, but again failed to explain that the life insurance coverage would lapse if premiums for the accidental death and dismemberment insurance were not paid. When the additional premium payment was not made, the insurance company lapsed all of the insured’s coverage. To add insult to injury, the insurer failed to refund the premiums that were paid for the life insurance. He searched for the best life insurance attorneys he could find and hired The McKennon Law Group PC. We were able to explain to the insurer why the decision to lapse the life insurance coverage was improper, and in violation of the California Insurance Code. After receiving our letter, the insurer paid the full life insurance benefits to the insured’s beneficiary, with interest.
- Long-Term-Disability Insurer Reinstates Disability Insurance Benefits to Our Sales Executive Client Suffering From Severe Neck and Back Pain After We Show the Denial Was Erroneous
A sales executive could no longer perform the duties of his occupation, which required extensive travel to the offices of customers, due to severe back and neck pain. The sales executive filed a claim for long-term disability benefits through the ERISA plan provided by his employer. After approving and paying the LTD claim for a few months, the insurance company denied the ongoing claim, asserting that the medical records did not support an inability to work, and that the claimant’s own treating physician did not support his claim for disability. The sales executive hired the McKennon Law Group PC to handle his appeal, and if necessary, file litigation in order to secure payment of the long-term disability benefits he was owed. We were able to convince the insurer, without litigation, that the claim denial decision was improper and should be overturned. In the extensive appeal letter sent to the insurer, we identified the many errors made by the insurance company in handling the ERISA disability claim. Upon receipt of the appeal letter and additional supporting documentation, the insurer reinstated the sales executive’s claim and paid him all back benefits and future benefits owed.
- Our Clients – a Group of Companies Sued by Their Investors Over Alleged Fraud, Mismanagement and Misappropriation – Are First Denied Litigation Defense by Their Directors & Officers’ liability Insurer; We Get the Insurer to Defend Them
Our clients, a series of health care and real estate investment companies and their principal, were sued in seven different lawsuits by various investors in the companies. The investors claimed the clients defrauded them, mismanaged the companies they had invested in, failed to pay the promised return on investment, and diverted company opportunities to themselves, among other things. They were seeking millions of dollars in damages, well over eight figures. The clients tendered the lawsuits to their directors & officers’ liability insurer under a “claims made and reported policy.” The insurer ignored the tenders, except briefly acknowledging two of the seven claims. The clients tendered the suits again and again with no response from their insurer. The clients were left to defend themselves in the lawsuits, some of them for eight months, racking up hundreds of thousands of dollars in attorneys’ fees, until McKennon Law Group PC got involved. The firm immediately wrote coverage letters in each case to the insurance company, threatening a breach of insurance contract and insurance bad faith lawsuit for the insurer’s delay in responding to the tenders and failure to defend the clients in the underlying liability lawsuits, as the policy required. The insurer hired coverage counsel from a large out-of-state law firm that reviewed our coverage letters. Based on our letters, the insurer quickly agreed to defend the firm’s clients in six of the seven lawsuits and reimburse them for the past defense fees they had incurred. It agreed to defend the clients even though there was not a policy in place for the relevant policy year for most of the lawsuits. The insurer agreed to relate the claims back to an earlier policy year under a “related claims” endorsement. McKennon Law Group PC convinced the insurer to honor the policy obligations it had ignored for almost a year, without even having to file a coverage lawsuit, thereby saving the clients significant money in litigation expenses. The firm successfully continued to fight with the insurer over the one suit it declined to defend and over its ability to control the defense of the litigation by imposing “Cumis” counsel rates.
- Long-Term-Disability Insurer Tells Our Police Officer Client in Extremely Bad Health to Wait Three Years Before Filing for Benefits, Then Denies Benefits Because He Didn’t File Immediately; We Fight to Get the Insurer to Reverse Its Decision
McKennon Law Group PC’s client, a police officer whose health gradually declined after he was injured on-duty culminating in cervical spine surgery, asked his long-term disability insurer about filing a claim because he could no longer perform his physical job duties. He was told not to apply because he was ineligible for disability benefits until he exhausted his sick leave, salary continuation and injured-on-duty benefits. The officer dutifully applied for, and received, these benefits for three years. As instructed, just before these benefits were exhausted, the officer submitted his long-term disability insurance claim to the insurer. The insurer denied his claim as untimely under his policy, stating he should have filed the claim within one month after he stopped working, a position which directly contradicted the insurer’s earlier instructions (yet was consistent with the policy’s notice provisions). The insurer also claimed the police officer failed to submit adequate medical records proving he was disabled. We appealed the police officer’s claim denial and filed litigation. We proved he was disabled, that the insurer had in its claim file the very medical records it contended it did not have, and that the insurer was estopped from relying on the policy’s notice provision. The insurer also asserted that ERISA applied to the claim but we were able to successfully argue that the insurer waived the application of ERISA. Shortly after we filed litigation, we convinced the insurer to pay all past-due benefits with interest, and to reinstate all benefits owed and pay the on-going disability claim. Subsequently, we negotiated a six-figure policy buy-out that included the full net present value of the police officer’s benefits in addition to all of his attorneys’ fees, a very positive result.
- Disability Insurance Company Fails to Discover Its Agent Mishandled Our Dental Hygienist Client’s Insurance Application, Denies Her Claim Due to the Agent’s Errors; We File Legal Actions that Result in Her Winning a Multi-Million-Dollar Settlement
A dental hygienist purchased two individual disability policies, and was forced to file a claim for long-term disability benefits when carpal tunnel syndrome and De Quervains syndrome rendered her unable to work any longer. Unfortunately, without the knowledge of the dental hygienist, the insurer’s agent negligently misrepresented her income on her applications. Based on this misrepresentation, the insurer issued, and the hygienist paid for, policies with higher premiums and benefits than it otherwise would have. However, when the hygienist later filed for disability benefits, the insurer accused her of fraud when completing the insurance application. The insurer failed to adequately investigate and discover that those misrepresentations were made by their licensed agent, not our client. The insurance company refused to approve her claims because of the misstatements on the insurance application. With the help of the McKennon Law Group PC, the dental hygienist filed suit against the insurance agent, the insurance company and the insurance agency that sold her the policies. We were first able to secure a large six-figure settlement against the agent. Then, after asserting causes of action including breach of contract and a bad faith against the insurer for policy benefits, attorneys’ fees, consequential damages, emotional distress and punitive damages, we secured a multi-million dollar settlement for the dental hygienist against the insurer. We also pursued a claim for professional negligence against the insurance agency that sold her the policies and we recovered for our client an additional six-figure amount. An incredible result for our client.
- Our Attorney Client, Crippled by Pain and Fatigue Due to Degenerative Rheumatoid Arthritis, Is Stymied by Long-Term-Disability Insurer’s Refusal to Make a Claim Decision; The Insurer Settles the Action to the Tune of Six Figures After We File Suit
A trial attorney developed degenerative rheumatoid arthritis and eventually became unable to work due to the resulting pain and fatigue. While she filed a timely claim for benefits under a disability income policy she purchased, submitted all the required claim forms and provided ample medical evidence supporting her condition, the insurer refused to make a claim decision. Because the insurer continued to delay and failed to pay the claim, the attorney searched for the best disability insurance attorneys she could find. She hired McKennon Law Group PC. We filed litigation. Following the insurer’s review of the Complaint, we immediately convinced the insurer to pay our client 100% of her past-due long-term disability insurance benefits, as well as a commitment to pay future benefits to which she was entitled, with the insurer offering a six-figure buy-out of her policy.
- Long-Term-Disability Insurer Relies on Negligent Physician’s Findings, Denies Benefits to Our Paralegal Client Suffering From Wrist/Hand Ailments; Our Litigation Makes Insurer Pay Full Benefits, Plus Attorneys’ Fees
McKennon Law Group PC’s client, a paralegal, was diagnosed with carpal tunnel syndrome and De Quervain’s tenosynovitis in 2012 but tried to work through the pain. About one year later, she stopped working as the pain in her neck and shoulders and pain and tingling sensations in both wrists became unbearable. Multiple physical examinations and MRI results confirmed her diagnosis and reported symptoms. The insurer paid her short-term disability insurance claim, but denied her long-term disability claim, based in part on its determination that she did not provide sufficient evidence of continuing impairment. The insurer reached this determination by deferring to the findings of a physician it retained to review the paralegal’s medical records. This retained physician never spoke with the paralegal’s doctors, never contacted the paralegal to discuss her condition and did not even review medical records for the correct time period. The paralegal hired McKennon Law Group PC, and we litigated the case against the insurer. Based on the firm’s efforts, our client obtained a full recovery, 100% of her past-due benefits, attorneys’ fees and we convinced the insurer to place her back on claim and to pay all future benefits owed. Because we recovered attorneys’ fees from the insurer, our client was able to keep 100% of her benefits the insurer paid her.
- Our Client, a Sales and Service Specialist at a Bank, Who Suffers From Chronic Back Pain, Had Her Disability Benefits Denied, Allegedly Due to Clerical Error; McKennon Law Group PC Convinces the Insurer to Pay Her Benefits, Plus Attorneys’ Fees
A sales and service specialist at a bank developed chronic back pain due to cervical disc displacement, aggravated by an auto accident. She filed a timely claim, and received short-term disability benefits for a brief period. Subsequently, the insurer terminated her short-term disability claim in part by generalizing about a clerical error in her medical records, and denied her long-term disability insurance benefits on the same basis. She knew she needed experienced disability insurance attorneys to handle her case. She hired McKennon Law Group PC. We appealed her case, filed litigation and represented her through a successful mediation. Ultimately, we recovered all her past-due benefits and convinced the insurer to reinstate her claim for long-term disability insurance benefits and to pay her attorneys’ fees.
- Disability Insurer Misinforms Our Client, an Accounts Payable Associate Afflicted With Fibromyalgia and Other Maladies, About Claims Details and Processes, Denies Her Claim; We Expose the Insurer’s Conduct and Win Her Benefits and Attorneys’ Fees
After an accounts payable associate was afflicted with fibromyalgia and a laundry list of other conditions, her doctors restricted her to a part-time work schedule. She applied for disability benefits to cover her reduced earnings under her employer’s long-term disability insurance ERISA plan. However, the insurer denied her claim, incorrectly assuming that the combination of her reduced income and other income benefits exceeded her disability benefits. The insurer failed to inform her that she had the right to appeal, and invited her to reapply once she stopped working or her other income benefits tapered off. Upon her reapplication almost two years later, the insurer again denied her claim, now claiming she did not work enough hours to qualify for coverage, and her coverage ended at the time she reduced her hours. McKennon Law Group PC conducted a comprehensive analysis of the client’s claim and discovered the insurer did not explain that she could qualify for disability benefits once she was unable to work full-time and that her earnings only partially offset her disability income benefits. Based on this information we filed litigation. Eventually, we were able to settle her short-term and long-term disability claims getting her benefits and her attorneys’ fees.
- Our Bank Teller Client Receives All Past and Future Disability Benefits, Plus Attorneys’ Fees, After McKennon Law Group PC Demonstrates That She Is Disabled and Cannot Work
A disability insurer paid a bank teller’s short-term disability claim for a few weeks, but later denied her claim based on a selective review of her medical documents and overemphasis of the importance of one medical note stating she was able to work four hours per day. On appeal, the client’s medical provider explained this statement was a “clerical error” and she was not able to work. She then searched for very experienced ERISA lawyers to file an ERISA appeal. She hired McKennon Law Group PC and we filed a second appeal and provided additional supporting evidence that her condition caused her pain, that she had limited range of motion and did not heal despite extensive treatment and physical therapy. Subsequently, we filed litigation and convinced the insurer to pay back all past-due short-term and long-term disability benefits, and place the client back on claim so her benefits are paid into the future. The insurer paid her attorneys’ fees so that she was allowed to keep 100% of her ERISA plan benefits.
- Long-Term-Disability Insurer Dismisses Our Field Engineer/Consultant’s Pain, Refuses to Pay Him Disability Benefits; McKennon Law Group PC Files Suit and Gets Him a Six-Figure Settlement
A field engineer/consultant developed a severe and crippling back condition which rendered him unable to sit and drive for long distances and to install heavy equipment for clients. The engineer and his employer provided explicit details about the physical demands required of him, and his doctors provided specific restrictions on his physical activities. However, the insurer dismissed his severe pain, conveniently ignored that fact that these sales presentations involved repeatedly lifting and installing equipment in excess of fifty pounds. The insurer determined he was not disabled under his long-term disability insurance policy because he was capable of giving sales presentations and dealing with stressful situations. He was determined to find the best disability insurance advocates he could find. He hired McKennon Law Group PC and we filed litigation and subsequently obtained a six-figure settlement for the engineer.
- Our Widower Client Receives Death Benefits From His Deceased Wife’s Life Insurance Policy, Even Though She Forgot to Make Some Premium Payments and the Policy Had Lapsed
Our client, a widower, had his claim for life insurance benefits denied because his late wife, due to her ailing health, forgot to pay the premiums on her life insurance policy and their life insurance agent did not take steps to ensure the policy did not lapse. Because she missed several payments, the policy lapsed several months prior to her death and the insurance company terminated coverage. The insurer later denied our client’s claim for death benefits under the life insurance policy. She wanted to hire the best life insurance attorneys in California and found McKennon Law Group PC. We conducted a comprehensive review of the widower’s case, filed a lawsuit against the agent and the insurer, asserting several legal theories for recovery, and aggressively pursued the widower’s claim. Ultimately, we obtained a significant settlement of his case, well beyond our client’s expectations.
- We Obtain Six-Figure Settlement for Our Nurse Client Suffering From Severe Back Pain And Who Was Denied Long-Term-Disability Benefits by Her Insurer
Our client, a nurse who suffered cumulative back trauma because her job in the emergency room required repeatedly lifting, transferring and triaging patients, performing CPR and walking for prolonged periods, became totally disabled. After she stopped working, the insurer briefly paid her long-term disability insurance claim, but terminated her benefits based on its allegation that she could return to work as a nurse in a medical office. Our client appealed this decision, but it was again denied. Facing financial hardship, she attempted to return to work consulting in a medical office, but was unable to continue working even in this capacity due to severe back pain. Despite her attempt to return to work, the insurer again denied her claim for benefits, based on its determination that she was capable of working full-time in an office setting. Because she could not afford to have her long-term disability benefits denied, she desperately searched for aggressive ERISA disability attorneys. She found and hired McKennon Law Group PC. We pursued her disability benefits and we obtained a six-figure settlement for our client, alleviating her financial distress.
- Our Dentist Client Receives a Six-Figure Settlement to Resolve Her Claim Denial After We Sue Insurer for Bad Faith Because of Her Insurer’s Attempts to Rescind Her Disability and Business Overhead Expense Policy
A long-term disability insurer attempted to rescind a dentist’s disability insurance policy and business overhead expense policy on the grounds she made material misrepresentations in the insurance applications. She needed to hire new attorneys after her prior attorneys botched the case and she found insurance policy rescission experts, McKennon Law Group PC. We handled her breach of contract and bad faith claim and, after the insurer decided to pay her disability claim, we were able to convince the insurer to pay a six-figure settlement to resolve her claims.
- Life Insurer Initially Refuses to Pay Benefits to Our Widow Client, or Even Communicate With Her, But Agrees to Pay Benefits After We Undermine Its Reason for Denial
An insurer denied a widow’s claim for her husband’s life insurance benefits, stating his policy lapsed when he stopped working and paying premiums before he passed away. In addition, the insurer refused to communicate further or provide the widow’s family with information regarding the life policy and their claim. We investigated the claim and determined the insured had coverage because he qualified for a waiver of premiums due to a disability, and thus his policy did not lapse. We appealed the denial, and convinced the insurer to overturn its decision and pay a six-figure life insurance settlement to the widow.
- Young Woman, Seriously Injured in an Auto Accident by an At-Fault Driver, Receives a Substantial Settlement After We Sued Auto Insurer for Bad Faith
After prolonged investigation, an auto insurance company determined that a driver was largely at fault for causing a series of auto accidents, which resulted in severe physical injuries to a young woman and extensive vehicular damage. Following this determination, the insurer learned the driver-at-fault was underinsured, making the insurer liable under its underinsured motorist policy. Subsequently, the insurer stalled two years until an arbitrator decided coverage issues in favor of our client, the injured young woman. We successfully fought off a Motion for Summary Judgment by the auto insurer while we handled the bad faith portion of the claim. We were able to obtain a significant six-figure settlement for our client.
- Life Insurance Company Only Pays Part of a Claim by Our Widow Client and Her Minor Children, Then Pays More Than the Policy Amount After We Point Out the Insurer’s Negligence
A life insurance company received a claim for benefits from a widow and her minor children. The insurer paid a portion of the claim, but denied the supplemental life insurance benefits, claiming the insured failed to provide proof of good health. However, the insurer never asked for proof of good health, never instructed the insured on how to provide this and accepted his application and premiums for the policy, including supplemental life coverage. McKennon Law Group PC filed suit and obtained a six-figure settlement of the case in excess of the actual life insurance proceeds due under the contract.
- Our Field Engineer/Service Representative Client, Suffering From Debilitating Knee Pain, Receives Past-Due and Future Disability Benefits After We Establish That the Disability Insurer Mischaracterized His Occupation
A field engineer/service representative developed a degenerative orthopedic condition which caused debilitating knee pain. Although his job involved substantial physical requirements, the insurer mischaracterized his occupation as a sedentary/sales position, ignored supporting diagnostic evidence and denied his long-term disability benefits. We convinced the insurer to place the engineer back on claim and pay back all past-due benefits and to pay all future disability benefits owed to our client.
- Long-Term-Disability Insurer Agrees to Pay Over $1 Million in Disability Benefits to Our Escrow Officer Client After We Filed Suit; District Court Orders it to Pay Our Attorneys’ Fees
Although an escrow officer was diagnosed with a variety of debilitating conditions, her long-term disability insurer terminated her long-term disability benefits based on its paid physician’s paper review determination that her medical diagnoses, evaluated individually, did not render her disabled. McKennon Law Group PC convinced the insurer to reverse its decision, reinstate the escrow manager’s benefits and pay all of her past-due and future disability benefits amounting to over $1,000,000. In addition, the district court judge awarded McKennon Law Group PC its attorneys’ fees of over $112,000, approving the firm’s rate of $650/hour for Mr. McKennonʼs work, $550/hour for senior associate attorneys and $250/hour for its junior associate attorneys. The judge also awarded the client her litigation costs and a 5% prejudgment interest on her past-due benefits.
- Our Engineer Client Receives a Six-Figure Settlement After We Demonstrated the Disability Insurer’s Bad Faith in Handling His Claim
After a disabled engineer became disabled and filed a long-term disability insurance claim under his group ERISA disability policy, a large disability insurer improperly denied the disability claim. The engineer needed to hire the best disability insurance lawyers in California and found McKennon Law Group PC. We filed litigation and the insurer immediately put the client back on claim and paid all past-due benefits. Then, our client obtained a large six-figure settlement against an insurer to settle his claim for future disability benefits and for the insurer’s bad faith in administering the engineer’s claim for benefits. This settlement represented a large settlement for the bad faith damages in addition to full policy benefits.
- Disability Insurer Agrees to a Large Six-Figure Settlement for Our Client, a Grocery Store Manager, After We Sued the Insurer for Using Underhanded Tactics to Try to Invalidate His Claim
A grocery store manager became disabled and received disability insurance benefits for about three years under his employer-provided group long-term disability policy. Subsequently, the insurer began looking for ways to deny his disability claim by conducting surveillance on the store manager, misinterpreting his medical documentation to suggest improvement and mischaracterizing his job duties. He decided he needed help and looked for the most experienced ERISA disability lawyers he could find. He then hired McKennon Law Group PC. We helped the client obtain a six-figure settlement for his future disability benefits in a case governed by ERISA.
- Our Business Owner Client Receives a Seven-Figure Settlement From Multiple Insurers After We Successfully Argued They Committed Bad Faith and Fraud
A business owner wanted to set up a pension plan and sought the help of some financial advisors and a large life insurer to achieve this. The financial advisors and the life insurer sold him a plan that was very costly and unnecessarily expensive and that was not suitable to for him. He looked for a law firm that handled pension matters and found McKennon Law Group PC. We sued the financial advisors and the life insurer for bad faith and fraud. After hard-fought litigation in which we successfully defended against 5 Motions for Summary Judgment, we achieved a large seven-figure settlement for our client.
- Long-Term-Care Insurer Asserts That Its Surveillance Shows Our Client Is Not Qualified to Receive Benefits, Then Agrees to a Six-Figure Settlement After We Prove She Cannot Do Activities of Daily Living
A long-term care insurer terminated long-term care coverage for an insured based on surveillance footage that it asserted proved an older woman was able to perform certain activities of daily living. She and her daughter knew that they needed to hire the best long-term care attorneys they could find and hired McKennon Law Group PC. We sued the insurer for insurance bad faith and breach of contract and convinced the insurer that our client was incapable of performing her activities of daily living and thus was entitled to benefits under her long-term care coverage. The case was settled in the mid-six figures.
- Our Field Engineer Client Sees His Long-Term-Disability Benefits Reinstated to the Tune of Over $1 Million Due to Our Aggressive Advocacy
Following a field engineer’s on-the-job accident, examining doctors determined he was over 50% functionally impaired and unable to compete in the job market. The insurer terminated his long-term disability benefits, stating he was capable of working in “any occupation.” Convinced that he needed to hire aggressive disability insurance attorneys to handle his denied insurance claim, he hired McKennon Law Group PC. We convinced the insurer to reinstate his benefits and pay all of his past-due and future long-term disability benefits amounting to over $1,000,000. We then pursued an insurance bad faith claim against the insurer for attorneys’ fees, consequential damages, emotional distress and punitive damages worth several million dollars. We achieved a significant settlement for our client as a result.
- Life Insurance Company Unethically Collects and Retains Premiums From Our Insured by Refusing to Honor a Waiver-of-Premiums Provision; We Persuade the Insurer to Agree to a Large Settlement
A policyholder purchased a life insurance policy which contained a waiver of premiums provision available if the insured was totally disabled for six months. However, the insurer unreasonably interpreted the waiver of premiums policy language and retained over $20,000 in premium payments. We were hired to fight the insurer. We obtained a settlement well in excess of our client’s retained premiums.
- Son Finally Receives Life-Insurance Benefit Upon the Death of His Mother After the Life Insurer Lapsed the Policy; We Represent Him and Secure a Six-Figure Settlement
An individual purchased a life insurance policy for his mother, which named him as the beneficiary. The insurer consistently and habitually accepted late payments and waived the reinstatement applications for the policy. Subsequently, the insurer unreasonably lapsed the policy asserting that the son had not timely paid premiums. Ultimately, the insurer denied the claim asserting that the life insurance policy had lapsed and no longer provided coverage. The son wanted to aggressively pursue the life insurance death benefits due to him and wanted to hire the best life insurance lawyers in Orange County to represent him. He knew Robert McKennon and hired him. We represented the client and asserted that prior course of dealing established that the insurer should have accepted a late payment. Our client eventually received the full amount of the death benefit claim in a mid six-figure settlement.
- Long-Term Disability Insurer Denied Our Financial Advisor Client’s Depression Claim; We Established the Flaws in the Denial and Negotiated a Six-Figure Settlement
A financial advisor suffered from major depression and filed a claim for long-term disability benefits. After its independent medical review, the insurer found her symptoms were consistent with her depression diagnosis and she was unable to work. However, the insurer denied her claim. Looking for aggressive and experienced disability lawyers, she hired our firm. We ought the insurer and obtained a large six-figure settlement for the financial advisor.
- Family Hires McKennon Law Group to Fight Life Insurance Claim Denial; We Get Life Insurance Policies Reinstated and Our Client Received a Large Settlement
Family members purchased life insurance policies to cover future estate taxes. Subsequently, an insurance agent persuaded the family members to switch to another type of policy and to leave an important application term blank. Due to this omission, defective notice from the insurer and other improper acts by the insurer and its agent, a substantial life insurance policy lapsed. The family knew it had to hire the best life insurance attorneys in California and hired McKennon Law Group PC. We convinced the insurer to reinstate the policy and our client obtained a six-figure settlement.
- Disability Insurer Initially Balks on Granting Benefits to Our Client, a Retail Store Manager, Because of a Blank on the Application, But McKennon Law Group PC Convinces the Insurer to Pay All Past and Future Amounts
A retail store manager submitted his application for a disability policy, and following advice from a plan sponsor representative, left one section of the application blank. The insurer improperly stated the application was incomplete and stalled the effective date of the disability policy, then denied his claim for disability insurance benefits. McKennon Law Group PC convinced the insurer to place the manager back on claim and pay all of his past-due and future disability benefits amounting to several hundred thousand dollars.
- MetLife Denies Our Waitress Client Her Disability Benefits, Claiming Her Cerebral Hemorrhage Was Due To a Preexisting Condition, But Abandons Its Position on Appeal After We File Suit
A waitress became unable to work due to a cerebral hemorrhage. Her disability insurer MetLife improperly determined her disability was a preexisting condition and denied her claim. She sought out highly experienced ERISA lawyers and found McKennon Law Group PC. We filed a complaint and the court permitted the insured to file an administrative appeal. On appeal, the insurer reversed its decision and paid the insured all of her past-due and future disability benefits.
- Life Insurance Agent Negligently Allows Senior Citizen’s Policy to Lapse via Lack of Notification; Insurer Doesn’t Pay the Benefit Upon Death; McKennon Law Group PC Secures a Settlement for Most of the Policy’s Benefit Amount
An insurance agent negligently violated company protocol and a promise to an elderly insured to contact the insured and inform him of an upcoming policy lapse of a life insurance policy. Subsequently, the agent failed to do this and the policy lapsed. The elderly insured died and the beneficiary filed a claim but it was denied because of the lapse of the life insurance policy. The beneficiary wanted to hire the top ERISA attorneys in California and found McKennon Law Group PC. We filed suit and settled the case for most of the life insurance policy’s death benefit.
- Our Accountant Client, Experiencing Seizures After Surgery, Receives a Six-Figure Settlement After a Disability Insurer Initially Denies His Claim by Alleging Sickness as the Cause, but Then Reverses Its Decision
An accountant sustained atypical seizures following major surgery. The insurer improperly determined the surgeries caused the seizures, classified the residual injuries as complications from a “sickness” rather than an “accidental bodily injury” and denied his disability insurance claim. The accountant, distressed at the disability claims denial, desired to hire the top disability insurance attorneys in California and hired McKennon Law Group PC. We convinced the insurer that the disability should be characterized as an accidental bodily injury and to pay a six-figure settlement to settle our client’s insurance bad faith claim.
- Auto Insurer Agrees to a Settlement Three Times Greater Than Its First Offer to Our Client Who Suffered Emotional Distress After a Driver Crashed His Car Into Her Home
Although not physically injured, a woman suffered emotional distress when a vehicle crashed into her home. The driver’s insurer originally denied her personal injury claim, claiming the injury did not cause a physical injury. We helped the woman obtain a settlement over three times greater the insurer’s original offer.
- Nonprofit Management Company, Initially Denied Policy Benefits After a Vendor’s Embezzlement, Receives a Six-Figure Settlement When McKennon Law Group PC Represents It in Arbitration
After a nonprofit corporation discovered embezzlement by its vendor, its insurer refused coverage for the amount stolen, corresponding penalties and interest charges. McKennon Law Group PC represented the nonprofit corporation in arbitration and obtained a mid six-figure settlement from the insurer.
- Long-Term-Disability Insurer Agrees To a Million-Dollar Settlement After Initially Denying Benefits to Our Corporate Executive Client Suffering From Nerve Damage and Pain
A corporate executive suffered nerve damage and experienced frequent outbreaks of pain. The insurer improperly categorized her complex management duties as “sedentary” and ignored consistent findings by her doctor in order to deny her long-term disability benefits. We convinced the insurer to reverse its decision and to pay all of her past-due and future long-term disability benefits amounting to over $1,000,000.
- Our Claims Examiner Client, Suffering From Complications of Spinal Stenosis, Receives Full Past and Future Long-Term-Disability Benefits After McKennon Law Group PC Convinces the Insurer to Reverse Its Denial
A claims examiner submitted substantial medical records showing he suffered chronic pain and a restricted range of motion such that he could only work four hours a day due to severe spinal stenosis. The insurer denied his long-term disability insurance claim. After he searched for the best disability attorneys he could find, he found McKennon Law Group PC. We convinced the insurer to reverse its decision and pay all of his past-due and future disability benefits amounting to several hundred thousand dollars.
- Long-Term-Disability Insurer Pays Out a Settlement Six Times the Policy Limit After Trivializing Our Bus Driver Client’s Physical and Mental Suffering From an Automobile Accident as “Stress-Related”
A school bus driver suffered extensive physical and mental injuries following an automobile accident, but the insurer categorized his conditions as stress-related, and denied his long-term disability insurance claim. Notably, bus driver’s policies did not exclude coverage for stress-related symptoms. After he was told that McKennon Law Group PC was the best disability firm in Los Angeles, he hired our firm and we filed a case against the disability insurer for insurance bad faith. We fought the insurer’s assertion that the disability claim was governed by ERISA and we obtained a six-figure settlement for our client that was six times greater than the maximum disability benefits payable under his disability policy.
- Our Courier Client Suffering From Crippling Arthritis Pain Sees His Long-Term-Disability Claim Initially Denied by the Insurer; She Receives All Past and Future Benefits, Plus Attorneys’ Fees
A courier’s arthritis caused severe hip and abdominal pain such that she could not tolerate the extensive driving, bending and lifting required for her occupation. The insurer ignored evidence of multiple surgeries and other serious medical issues, and denied her long-term disability insurance claim. We challenged the insurer’s denial and convinced the insurer to pay all of her past-due and future long-term disability benefits. In addition, the court forced the insurer to pay her substantial attorneys’ fees.
- McKennon Law Group PC Persuades a Disability Insurer to Pay a Large Six-Figure Buyout Settlement to Our Attorney Client Who Became Disabled and Could Only Work Part Time in a Different Field
After an attorney became disabled, she worked part-time in another field. Her insurer denied her disability insurance claim, stating improperly that she was capable of working full time at this second job. We convinced the insurer to reverse its decision and buy out her disability policy in a high six-figure settlement.
- Bank Senior Analyst Suffering From Severe Arthritis, Who Had to Stop Working, Receives All Past and Future Disability Benefits After McKennon Law Group PC Convinces the Insurer to Retract Its Denial
A senior analyst at Bank of America stopped working due to severe arthritis. She filed a disability insurance claim but the insurer denied the claim. She was told that we were the best insurance law firm in California and she hired us. We convinced the insurer to overturn its disability claim denial, and to pay all of his past-due and future disability benefits.
- Disability Insurer First Denies Coverage to Our Software Engineer Client Suffering Incessant Postoperative Pain, Then Is Convinced by McKennon Law Group PC to Pay All Past and Future Benefits, Plus Attorneys’ Fees
A software developer experienced persistent pain following postoperative complications but the insurer denied his disability insurance claim. He needed very experienced disability attorneys on his side and so hired McKennon Law Group PC. We subsequently filed a complaint and while the case was pending, we convinced the insurer to pay all of his past-due and future disability benefits amounting to several hundred thousand dollars. We then forced the insurer to pay our client’s attorneys’ fees and costs.
- Military Veteran Suffering Chronic Pain After Surgery Gets Disability Insurance Benefits Reinstated After We Convince the Insurer to Change Its Stance
A U.S. veteran continued to suffer chronic pain in his back, knees and legs following a surgical procedure. His disability insurer terminated his disability insurance benefits shortly after the procedure, and denied his claim for ongoing benefits. McKennon Law Group PC handled the appeal and within three months, convinced the insurer to reinstate his disability benefits, and to pay all of his past-due and future disability benefits.
- Disability Insurer Denies the Claim by Our Engineer Client Suffering Sciatic Pain, Saying His Pain Level Wasn’t Severe Enough; We Convince the Insurer to Pay Disability Benefits
An engineer was diagnosed with sciatica which caused throbbing pain to his lower back and thigh area. His disability insurer denied his claim for disability insurance benefits, stating his condition was not severe enough to support a functional loss. He searched for aggressive ERISA disability attorneys and found McKennon Law Group PC. We convinced the insurer to overturn its denial and pay short-term disability benefits and to then pay his long-term disability insurance claim.
- Two Employee-Practices-Liability Insurers Refuse to Defend or Indemnify Our Investment Company Client That Was Sued by an Employee; We Persuade Both Insurers to Fulfill Their Obligations
Our client, a financial services business with employees, obtained an employee practices liability policy. When a disgruntled company employee brought suit against the company, the company tendered its defense and indemnity to two insurance carriers. The carriers refused to defend and indemnify the company and attempted to rescind the policy based on certain exclusions and the timing of the tender. We convinced both insurance carriers to overturn their denials and to defend and indemnify the company against the liability claim.
- Our District Manager Client, Suffering Physical and Mental Complications of Stress and Cervicalgia, Has His Disability Claim Denied, Then Receives a Policy Buyout After McKennon Law Group PC Challenges the Denial
McKennon Law Group PC’s client, a district manager, suffered extreme job-related stress which led to anxiety and depression. In addition, he suffered a variety of physical afflictions, including insomnia, difficulty concentrating, headaches and back pain due to cervicalgia. The insurer denied his disability insurance ERISA claim and ignored substantial evidence of his depression, anxiety and physical symptoms. The insurer and its doctors relied on surveillance footage (which revealed little other than our client speaking to a neighbor, wiping a water stains off his car, riding a bike, and doing minor yard work) as compelling evidence that our client had no functional or mental limitations. He needed a law firm that was not afraid to fight insurance company denials and hired McKennon Law Group PC. We challenged this denial, litigated the case and convinced the insurer to buy out the disability insurance policy during an early mediation that enabled our client to get paid soon after the complaint was filed.
- The United States District Court for the Central District of California has approved the highest billing rate ever allowed by a California Court for ERISA insurance matters for McKennon Law Group PC’s founding partner, Robert McKennon. The court approved Mr. McKennon’s billing rate based on his strong experience and expertise in litigating ERISA and bad faith insurance matters, stating: “[G]iven Mr. McKennon’s extensive experience in ERISA matters, it seems reasonable that he would command fees on the high end for attorneys practicing in this area of law.”
- McKennon Law Group PC attorney Scott E. Calvert wins defense verdict in corporate severance suit.
- McKennon│Schindler LLP, Robert J. McKennon’s prior law firm before he founded McKennon Law Group PC, filed an action under the Financial Industry Regulation Authority (“FINRA”) on behalf of a client who lost his life savings due to the negligence and a breach of fiduciary duty owed to him by Cullum & Burks Securities and advisor Robert J. Clark. After a hearing and arbitration in which Mr. McKennon appeared, our client was awarded his full compensatory damages plus interest of $543,612.62.
Disclaimer: The settlements and verdicts presented above are generalized from actual outcomes. The potential for recovery depends on each client’s individual situation, circumstances and insurance policies at issue. Given the uncertain nature of litigation, attorneys cannot guarantee case results.