When Symetra Life Insurance Company terminated her long term disability benefits after paying them for over three years, this school principal hired O’Ryan Law Firm to assist with her appeal for benefits. Before our client became disabled, she worked at the South Bend School Corporation as a special education teacher for 11 years, then as a Principal. The South Bend Community School Corporation (“SBCSC”) operates the public schools in South Bend, Indiana, and is one of the largest school corporations in Indiana, with a total of 34 schools. It serves most of South Bend, Indian Village, Notre Dame, and Roseland, as well as portions of Granger and Mishawaka.
Symetra Life Insurance Company (”Symetra”) is an Iowa corporation doing business in Indiana. Symetra’s principal place of business is in Seattle, Washington. Pursuant to the disability policy, Symetra promises to pay monthly disability benefit payments in the event our client was unable to work due to injury or sickness.
Our client worked for South Bend School Corporation until May 2014, when she was forced to stop working after she was diagnosed with hemiplegic migraines and trigeminal neuralgia. Hemiplegic migraines or Hemiplegic migraine headache is a rare and serious subtype of classical migraine that typically includes weakness of half the body which can last for hours, days or weeks. It can be accompanied by other symptoms, such as ataxia, coma and paralysis. Trigeminal neuralgia is a chronic pain condition that affects the trigeminal nerve, which carries sensation from your face to your brain. If you have trigeminal neuralgia, even mild stimulation of your face — such as from brushing your teeth or putting on makeup — may trigger a jolt of excruciating facial pain. Our client also suffers from Sarcoidosis, an inflammatory disease characterized by the formation of granulomas—tiny clumps of inflammatory cells—in one or more organs of the body. When the immune system goes into overdrive and too many of these clumps form, they can interfere with an organ’s structure and function. When left unchecked, chronic inflammation can lead to fibrosis, which is the permanent scarring of organ tissue. This disorder affects the lungs in approximately 90% of cases, but it can affect almost any organ in the body. Despite increasing advances in research, sarcoidosis remains difficult to treat.