Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Pivotal ERISA Long Term Disability Case Won

Mr. Sandhaus recently won a pivotal ERISA Long Term Disability case in the United States District Court Central District of California. The case, James Barron v. Ashland Inc., The Prudential Insurance Co. of America, et al. was reported in the Los Angeles Daily Journal under Verdicts and Settlements as follows:

“FACTS: James Barron suffered from chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), which consisted of fatigue, flu-like symptoms, sleep disorder, headaches, muscle and joint pain, sore throat and swollen lymph glands. He worked for The Dow Chemical Co. until 2004 when his business unit was sold to Ashland Inc. His work required him to make several business trips. In 2006, he noticed his health deteriorating considerably and he stopped working the following year. He filed a claim for long term disability (“LTD”) benefits, and provided a record of his CFS health history. Prudential Insurance Co. of America, the claim administrator for Ashland’s LTD plan, denied Barron’s claim after it determined he could perform his job duties. Barron filed an appeal, which was repeatedly denied by Prudential, prompting Barron to file a complaint against Ashland and others to recover benefits due under the plan under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA).
RESULT: Central District of California Judge S. James Otero determined that Prudential violated numerous provisions of the Plan, thereby, abusing its discretion in denying Barron’s claim for LTD benefits. Barron was entitled to LTD benefits under the plan, and was entitled to interest and attorney fees under ERISA.”

Stuart H. Sandhaus

California Disability Attorney

Bus: (949) 481-0236

Fax: (949) 481-0238

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