The O’Ryan Law Firm, on behalf of the Plaintiff, Doug. S., filed a lawsuit in Marion County Indiana against the Indiana State Teachers Association Insurance Trust (“ISTA”) for unpaid disability benefits. The Plaintiff, Doug S., was employed as a shop teacher with the Michigan City Area Schools for many years, which made him eligible for disability benefits under the Long Term Disability Income Benefit Plan sponsored by ISTA.
In Douglas S. v. Indiana State Teachers Association Insurance Trust, the Plaintiff filed a lawsuit to gain the long-term disability benefits he deserved under the terms of the Plan.
Facts of the Case Against ISTA
Plaintiff was employed by the Michigan City Area Schools until he became disabled in 1993 due to the disabling effects of complications from hip fusion reversal, spinal stenosis, scoliosis of the lumbar spine, and cervical spondylosis. When he first became disabled, Doug S. filed an application for long term disability benefits and was paid disability benefits by the ISTA Insurance Trust for 20 years.
ISTA Terminates Long-Term Disability Benefits
On August 1, 2013, ISTA wrongfully terminated the Plaintiff’s long-term disability benefits claiming that the Plaintiff had miraculously recovered from his degenerative issues after 20 years. The Plaintiff then filed an administrative appeal challenging this denial. With this appeal, Plaintiff included significant medical evidence to prove his condition and disability including a report from an Independent Medical Examination by a physician board certified in Occupational Medicine. This report confirmed that Doug S. was disabled. Despite this information, ISTA denied the appeal and the Plaintiff was forced to file a lawsuit to obtain the rest of his disability benefits.
Lawsuit Filed Against ISTA
The terms of the lawsuit state that ISTA breached the provisions of the Disability Policy by refusing to pay Plaintiff his monthly disability benefits. The Plaintiff’s case also contends that the ISTA Insurance Trust’s actions breached Indiana’s covenant of good faith and fair dealing in several ways, including but not limited to:
Terminating Plaintiff’s benefits without any reasonable basis for the termination.
Compelling Plaintiff to initiate litigation to recover the amount due him under the terms of the Disability Policy.
Ignoring the statements of Plaintiff’s treating physicians who report that Plaintiff is unable to return to work.
Caused serious financial and emotional distress to the Plaintiff due to the termination of long-term disability benefits
Wrongfully terminating Plaintiff’s long-term disability benefits
Wrongfully denying Plaintiff’s appeal for long-term disability benefits
Plaintiff Seeks the Following Relief From the ISTA Insurance Trust
The Plaintiff’s lawsuit claimed that the wrongful actions of the ISTA Insurance Trust have caused the Plaintiff to seek the following relief from the Court:
A judgment that requires them to pay all long-term disability benefits that are due, along with all accrued interest A judgment that the Plaintiff’s eligibility for future long-term disability payments be reinstated A judgment that the Plaintiff will continue to receive future long-term disability payments for as long as Plaintiff remains eligible under the terms of the Plan A judgment that ISTA will pay for all reasonable attorney fees A judgment that ISTA will pay for all associated court costs
After many months of litigation, the Plaintiff and the ISTA Insurance Trust were able to negotiate a settlement of the lawsuit without having to go to trial. If you are a former Indiana teacher whose disability claim has been terminated by the ISTA Insurance Trust, contact the O’Ryan Law Firm for further consultation.