1. Guest, the 'News in Brief' for the week beginning 16th November 2020 is here.
    Dismiss Notice
  2. Welcome! To read the Core Purpose and Values of our forum, click here.
    Dismiss Notice
  3. Guest, NICE have published their draft guideline for ME/CFS, click here to read about it.
    Dismiss Notice

Ex-Reporter Prevails In ERISA Suit Against Prudential

Discussion in 'General ME/CFS News' started by Cheshire, Jun 2, 2018.

Tags:
  1. Cheshire

    Cheshire Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    4,030
    Likes Received:
    21,890
    https://www.law360.com/articles/1049513/ex-reporter-prevails-in-erisa-suit-against-prudential-

    (I can't remember Brian's name on the forum...)
     
  2. Sasha

    Sasha Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    Messages:
    3,328
    Likes Received:
    21,141
    Location:
    UK
    Congratulations to Brian! :thumbup::balloons:
     
  3. John Mac

    John Mac Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    Messages:
    337
    Likes Received:
    4,072
    I wonder if this evidence is coming from the NIH study in which Brian is a patient?
     
  4. MarcNotMark

    MarcNotMark Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    Messages:
    322
    Likes Received:
    2,287
    It's @B_V

    Congrats :)



    .
     
  5. ahimsa

    ahimsa Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    Messages:
    1,235
    Likes Received:
    9,217
    Location:
    Oregon, USA
    This is HUGE.

    For those outside the USA, the ERISA laws, at least the parts covering long term disability (LTD) insurance, are really messed up. So many folks with ME (and many other chronic illnesses) have been denied claims over the years.

    Getting an ERISA LTD claim approved is A LOT HARDER than getting a social security claim approved. Lots of complex legal issues that I can't remember (and would probably mess up with my brain fog).

    My congrats to @B_V and I hope this paves the way for more patients with ME getting their ERISA LTD claims approved.
     
  6. AR68

    AR68 Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    Messages:
    156
    Likes Received:
    1,192
  7. NelliePledge

    NelliePledge Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    6,557
    Likes Received:
    40,116
    Location:
    UK West Midlands
    yes need it on something that we can share widely
     
  8. AR68

    AR68 Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    Messages:
    156
    Likes Received:
    1,192
     
  9. AR68

    AR68 Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    Messages:
    156
    Likes Received:
    1,192
    I've attempted to post a link to a tweet including a link to the judgment but it will not show and I'm losing patience changing settings to allow it to show.
     
  10. Esther12

    Esther12 Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    Messages:
    3,804
    Likes Received:
    31,168
    It already shows up for me in your previous post, ta.
     
  11. AR68

    AR68 Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    Messages:
    156
    Likes Received:
    1,192
    Changed phone browser and I can now view it.
     
  12. Sasha

    Sasha Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    Messages:
    3,328
    Likes Received:
    21,141
    Location:
    UK
    What an awful, stressful experience that must have been - so sorry that Brian had to undergo it.
     
  13. Andy

    Andy Committee Member & Outreach

    Messages:
    11,126
    Likes Received:
    80,487
    Location:
    Hampshire, UK
    Shows how important the information that the CDC website has on it as it's quoted several times as an information source by the judge in explaining the judgement.

    This was a nice bit as well
     
  14. Sasha

    Sasha Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    Messages:
    3,328
    Likes Received:
    21,141
    Location:
    UK
  15. B_V

    B_V Established Member (Voting Rights)

    Messages:
    42
    Likes Received:
    543
    Hi - No, this lawsuit was about the first two years of the long-term disability policy I had through my job, which basically covers 2014-2015, before the NIH study began. I did a two-day CPET, had a qEEG with Mark & Marcie Zinn, and did a bunch of other stuff detailed in the judge's opinion, which you can see here:

    My lawyers, Barbara Comerford & Associates, did an amazing job and they deserve all the credit for winning this case. Barbara is a recovered patient (as she puts it) and has spent 25+ years fighting these horrible insurance companies and the terrible ERISA law that governs group disability plans. I recommend her to anyone in the U.S. fighting for Social Security or private disability benefits. Her folks have now helped me win both.

    Edit: I should mention that the NIH doctors WILL provide test results & letters supporting Social Security and private disability cases for volunteers enrolled in the study.
     
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2018
  16. B_V

    B_V Established Member (Voting Rights)

    Messages:
    42
    Likes Received:
    543
    I'm fortunate that I found a good lawyer willing to take my case on contingency (meaning they don't get paid much unless we win the case) and that I could afford - both in $$$ and in energy - the testing required to prove my disability. The ERISA law is really messed up & tilted heavily in favor of the insurers. There are no jury trials and no punitive damages possible. So if an insurance company acts in bad faith and f*cks people over, the worst thing that can happen for them is having to pay the original benefit. In very rare cases the judge orders the insurance company to pay the plantiff's lawyer's fees, but my judge did not do that. So I'm a little bummed because her opinion is so strong and that is really the only punishment available under the law.
     
    dannybex, lycaena, Anna and 25 others like this.
  17. Milo

    Milo Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    Messages:
    1,128
    Likes Received:
    8,480
    Congratulations @B_V and i agree with you the insurance company should have been made to pay for lawyer fees and punitive dammage to you as these proceedings are quite stressful and harmful on patient’s health.

    There doesn’t seem to be anything preventing the insurance company to reject disability insurance again, and it seems like they have anything to gain in doing so. I hope it changes very soon as we get closer to biomarkers and scientific breakthroughs.
     
    Anna, adambeyoncelowe, Alvin and 14 others like this.
  18. Sisyphus

    Sisyphus Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    Messages:
    353
    Likes Received:
    1,277
    ERISA is a legal nightmare, it is one of those things that no one knows or cares about until it affects them personally, and thus continues to lurk in the shadows.
     
  19. ahimsa

    ahimsa Senior Member (Voting Rights)

    Messages:
    1,235
    Likes Received:
    9,217
    Location:
    Oregon, USA
    Sadly, if a long term disability (LTD) policy falls under ERISA law (and that includes most LTD policies that are provided by an employer) then the insurance company is protected from ever having to pay any damages. They don't even have to pay any interest even if it has taken 3-4 years before they paid your claim.

    Of course the insurance companies want to do what makes them the most money. So they delay an LTD claim as long as possible.

    The only way to fix this situation would be to reform ERISA laws. But the current political climate in the USA is not even in favor of basic health care for all. Many politicians want to cut medicare, medicaid, food stamps, etc. So I doubt there is any chance of reforming ERISA laws.
     
  20. B_V

    B_V Established Member (Voting Rights)

    Messages:
    42
    Likes Received:
    543
    Not quite no one. A good friend of mine in DC works on disability policy, and has for 20 years, first on Cap Hill for various senators and now with a non-profit. They are trying but it's uphill. Recently some new Dept of Labor regulations for ERISA went into effect that help beneficiaries. I'll see if I can find a write-up somewhere.

    Edit: Here is a DOL fact sheet. Major ERISA overhaul is needed but these changes are helpful.
     
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2018
    Invisible Woman, Trish, Andy and 5 others like this.

Share This Page