O’Ryan Law Firm, on behalf of our client who is a disabled hospital ultrasound technician, recently filed a lawsuit against Madison National Life Insurance Company. Our client was forced to stop working due to severe chronic migraines, which she suffered several days a week. These migraines were often so intense that they caused her to become nauseous to the point of vomiting, frequently spending entire days in the bathroom as a result.
After our client became disabled, Madison National paid her benefits for nearly four years under the long term disability policy it provided through her employer. The Social Security Administration also awarded our client disability benefits, finding that she was unable to perform any gainful occupation. Madison National even continued to pay our client benefits for more than a year after the policy’s “own occupation” period ended and the policy’s definition of “disability” changed to require her to be disabled from performing not only her own job, but any job for which her education, skills, and experience qualified her.
Unfortunately, in January of 2017, Madison National abruptly notified our client that her claim was being closed based on a review of her medical records that allegedly determined that she was no longer disabled. In our experience, this is a common tactic that Madison National uses to terminate claims that it no longer wishes to continue paying.
After Madison National terminated her benefits, our client hired O’Ryan Law Firm to investigate and appeal the termination of her claim. Shortly after we notified Madison National that our client had requested we investigate and appeal the termination of her claim, Madison National acknowledged that the physician they had hired to review our client’s records never took the time to consult with our clients’ treating physicians before determining that she was no longer disabled. As a result, Madison National extended our client’s benefits an additional eight months to allow for another physician to review her records and consult her treating physicians.
On August 31, 2017, Madison National notified our client that a second physician had reviewed her file and concluded that she was no longer disabled. Although Madison National had delayed its termination of our client’s benefits by eight months to allow the new reviewing physician to conduct a review that also included consultation with our client’s treating physicians, the reviewing physician never actually spoke with our client’s treating physician. Instead, he simply left a few voice messages and issued his opinion without any input from the treating physicians. Although the reviewing physician agreed that our client’s severe chronic migraines were “functionally impairing” and consistent with her complaints as noted in her medical records, he nonetheless concluded that our client was no longer disabled.
After we appealed Madison National’s termination of our client’s benefits, we filed a lawsuit against Madison National in federal court to challenge its refusal to reinstate her benefits. In the lawsuit we allege that Madison National committed the following wrongful actions:
- Intentionally terminating benefits, after paying the claim for nearly four years, without any legitimate basis for the termination;
- Ignoring the statements of her treating physicians who report that she has not improved and she remains unable to return to work;
- Intentionally rejecting the conclusion of the Social Security Administration, which found, after reviewing the same medical records and physician reports, that our client was unable to engage in any substantial gainful work; and
- Ignoring the statement of its own reviewing physician that our client was functionally impaired as a result of her severe chronic migraines.
The O’Ryan Law Firm is seeking reinstatement of the client’s disability benefit payments. If you are disabled and have been denied benefits or had your claim terminated by Madison Nations, please contact the O’Ryan Law Firm for a free consultation.