In a recent lawsuit alleging denial of long-term disability benefits under the federal Employee Retirement Income Security Act (“ERISA”), the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan remanded the case to the plan administrator for further consideration of the plaintiff’s claim.
The plaintiff then moved for an award of attorney’s fees and costs, which in other matters might only be ordered upon a final adjudication. Although the defendant argued that the plaintiff was not entitled to attorney’s fees and costs because all he accomplished was a remand, Judge Gerald E. Rosen held in a written opinion that, under U.S. Supreme Court precedent and Sixth Circuit authority, accomplishing a remand by court order is a sufficient degree of success to justify the fee award.
Sommers Schwartz represents employees who experience wrongful denial of their valid short- or long-term disability claims. We recognize that employers or plan administrators often deny disability claims without considering all the evidence or after failing to order an independent medical examination. We also recognize that the denial of a valid disability claim may create undue financial hardships for claimants and their families. If you believe your employer or plan administrator has wrongfully denied your disability benefits, please give us a call to discuss your options.