O’Ryan Law Firm, on behalf of Plaintiff Shane C., recently filed a federal lawsuit against The Prudential Insurance Company of America (“Prudential”). The Plaintiff was employed as Senior Vice President Regional Manager with Custard Insurance Adjusters, Inc. which made him eligible for disability benefits under the Custard Insurance Adjusters, Inc. Long Term Disability Plan (the “Plan”). As a Regional Manager, Shane was required to travel to 9 different offices throughout the Midwest to oversee and supervise these 9 offices.
In Shane C. v. The Prudential Insurance Company of America and Custard Insurance Adjuster, Inc. Long Term Disability Plan, the Plaintiff filed a lawsuit under ERISA to gain the long-term disability benefits he was entitled to under the terms of the Prudential policy.
Facts of the Case Against Prudential
Plaintiff worked as a Senior Vice President and Regional Manager from 1984 until he became disabled in October 2014 from the effects of chronic low back pain, hip pain, neuropathy, and shortness of breath. The Plaintiff was actually encouraged by his District Manager for Custard Insurance Adjusters to apply for long term disability benefits because the District Manager had witnessed the deterioration in the Plaintiff’s medical conditions. For a period of time, Shane was allowed to work at home but this became incompatible with the requirements of his job and his management team recognized that Shane was struggling to keep up with the demands of his job, especially the traveling that was required for the position.
With support from his employer, Shane stopped working on October 24, 2014 due to chronic low back pain, hip pain, neuropathy, and shortness of breath. His surgical history includes a cervical laminectomy with fusion, and a lumbar laminectomy and fusion of the L2-3. According to the Mayo clinic, a laminectomy is surgery that creates space by removing the lamina — the back part of the vertebra that covers your spinal canal. Also known as decompression surgery, a laminectomy enlarges your spinal canal to relieve pressure on the spinal cord or nerves. After the laminectomy, the low back pain and radiculopathy seemed to resolve but Shane then developed pain in both of his hips. Shane had a right total hip replacement in April 2009. In June 2009, he dislocated the right hip. He dislocated it again in July 2009. In August 2009, he had the hip hardware removed and replaced. In December 2010, Plaintiff had his left hip replaced. In February 2011, he dislocated the left hip. He was treated in a cast from his waist to mid-thigh. Despite all of these serious medical conditions, Prudential denied his disability claim arguing that Shane’s medical condition was not severe enough to prevent him from doing his job. The O’Ryan Law Firm filed a lawsuit against Prudential and pursued the disability benefits in federal court under ERISA.
Plaintiff Settled his Lawsuit with Prudential
Shane and Prudential agreed to attend a mediation shortly after the lawsuit was filed. The parties were able to reach a settlement agreement at the mediation. The terms of the settlement are confidential but Shane agreed to dismiss the lawsuit against Prudential as a result of the mediation.
If Prudential has denied or terminated your short term or long term disability benefits, please contact the O’Ryan Law Firm to discuss your disability claim further with an experienced disability attorney.