On behalf of our client, Charlene L., O’Ryan Law Firm recently filed a lawsuit against Cigna Life Insurance Company of New York (“Cigna”). Prior to becoming disabled, Charlene was employed as a Store Manager with Ann Taylor, Inc. Ann Taylor, Inc. is an American group of specialty apparel retail chain stores for women. The company is headquartered in New York City and currently operates as a subsidiary of Ascena Retail Group. The stores offer classic styled suits, separates, dresses, shoes and accessories. The brand is marketed under five divisions: Ann Taylor, Loft, Lou & Grey, Ann Taylor Factory and Loft Outlet. As Store Manager, Charlene managed all aspects of the operation of a retail store, including sales, scheduling, pricing, inventory management, accounting, and employee supervision.
Charlene was forced to stop working due to the disabling symptoms of severe recurring headaches, chronic pain, fibromyalgia, and hypertension. According to the Mayo Clinic, “fibromyalgia is a disorder characterized by widespread musculoskeletal pain accompanied by fatigue, sleep, memory and mood issues. Symptoms sometimes begin after a physical trauma, surgery, infection or significant psychological stress. Many people who have fibromyalgia also have tension headaches, temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders, irritable bowel syndrome, anxiety and depression.”
When Charlene was unable to continue working due to her disabling medical conditions, she submitted a claim for long term disability (LTD) benefits to Cigna. Cigna initially approved her LTD benefits for two years, but Cigna notified her that it was terminating her benefits based on a review by its in-house medical staff. Cigna claimed that although she could no longer perform her job as a Store Manager, she could perform jobs that were more sedentary.