Employee sues company's benefits division over long term disability denial

By The Louisiana Record | Apr 28, 2015

A Hammond woman has sued her employer’s benefits division, alleging breach of duty.

Sonya Willoughby filed a complaint April 20 in U.S. District Court of the Eastern District of Louisiana against Group Long-Term Disability Plan for Employees CMB Homecare Inc. and Union Security Insurance Company, doing business as Assurant Employee Benefits of Kansas, citing a disability insurance claim.

According to the complaint, Willoughby was approved for long-term disability insurance from Jan. 27, 2012 through Jan. 1 2013, then denied further benefits as of Jan. 1, 2013. When she appealed the denial, the suit says, the defendant did not take evidence into consideration, failed to explain its rejection of her claim, and chose to review her medical data selectively.

Willoughby says she remains disabled and her benefits denial violates ERISA law. The suit says the plaintiff was wrongfully and randomly denied, and her company presents an inherent conflict of interest as both the carrier and adjustor of her claim.

Willoughby seeks: declaratory action; retroactive payment of benefits; compensatory damages and pre-judgment interest; attorney fees; expenses and costs.

She is represented by attorney D. Steven Wanko Jr. of The Wanko Law Firm in Covington.

U.S. District Court of the Eastern District of Louisiana case number: 2:15-cv-01242-SSV-DEK.

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