Disabled worker sues employer’s insurance carrier over claim denial

By The Louisiana Record | Apr 22, 2015

James F. Willeford

A Minden woman is suing her employer’s insurance company, alleging breach of duty in a disability claim.

Annette D. Triplet filed a claim against Hartford Life and Accident Insurance Co. in the U.S. District Court of the Eastern District of Louisiana on March 30.

According to the lawsuit, the plaintiff’s employer, Louisiana State University System, was granted a group policy by the defendant. Triplet, who is disabled and requires accommodations in the workplace to avoid pain due to degenerative disk disease, migraines, fibromyalgia and other impairments.

Triplet filed a claim for disability with Hartford because her medical condition prevents her from working full-time, the lawsuit states. Court filings indicate that the group policy is part of a non-ERISA plan, as Louisiana State University System is a governmental entity and therefore exempt from ERISA.

The complaint says that Hartford arbitrarily denied her claim for benefits without reason or cause and refused to adjust or pay the claim. Triplet claims financial damage, emotional distress, embarrassment and anxiety. Arguing that she cannot pay for her medical and living expenses, she cites breach of obligation and willful intent to cause harm by the defendant.

The plaintiff seeks damages for past and future disability benefits under the policy terms, plus interest, attorney’s fees, expenses and costs. She is represented by James Willeford, Reagan Toledano and Shane Pendley of Willeford and Toledano, New Orleans.

U.S. District Court of the Eastern District of Louisiana, case no. 2:15-cv-00975-MVL-JCW.

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