Gene Johnson Sep. 30, 2015, 11:24am


A Livingston man is suing an insurance company after he claims it terminated his disability benefits.

James E. Hughes filed a lawsuit against Life Insurance Co. of North America (CIGNA) in the U.S. District Court of Eastern District of Louisiana on July 24, alleging that the insurance company erroneously canceled his benefits on Feb. 8, 2011.

According to the complaint, while he was working as an employee at Power & Control Systems Inc., CIGNA issued a long-term disability policy to Hughes. He was forced to stop working on April 16, 1999, due to T10 parapalegia with central pain syndrome, which left him wheelchair-bound.

CIGNA terminated his benefits in 2011 because Hughes failed to provide requested documentation in support of his continuing entitlement to disability benefits, the lawsuit states, and Hughes was given 180 days to submit an appeal. According to the complaint, Hughes submitted an appeal and it was denied by CIGNA, claiming that Hughes had failed to submit an appeal within the 180 days. Hughes alleges that the policy did not state the appeal was due within 180 days.

Hughes is seeking all benefits due in the past and future under his benefit plan, plus pre- and post-judgment interest, all reasonable attorney fees, cost of the lawsuit and all other relief as the law may provide.

He is represented by Reagan L. Toledano, James F. Willeford and Shane Pendly of Willeford & Toledano of New Orleans.

U.S. District Court of Eastern District of Louisiana case number 2:15-cv-02941-EEF-DEK

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