Schwartz, Conroy & Hack, formerly QS, has obtained a ground-breaking ruling from a federal court certifying a class in a class action lawsuit against UnumProvident, now called Unum. The federal judge in Tennessee ruled on September 4, 2007 that Unum’s alleged “elaborate and corporate-wide scheme to illegally deny or terminate the long-term disability claims of thousands of disabled Americans” can be prosecuted as a class action.
The original lawsuit drafted and filed by QS in New York was adopted and used as the basis for all of the class actions that were merged into one case in Tennessee. The court quoted substantially from that QS complaint, and based the class certification decision on the legal theories and claims contained in that complaint. The court agreed to define the class of disabled victims as a very broad group of people who have had their claims denied or terminated by Unum’s subsidiaries that have issued group policies and allegedly engaged in various unlawful claims practices.
The class of people who may receive relief from this class action is defined as follows:
All plan participants and beneficiaries insured under ERISA-governed long-term disability insurance policies/plans issued by UnumProvident and the insuring subsidiaries of UnumProvident throughout the United States who have had a long-term disability claim denied, terminated or suspended on or after June 30, 1999 by UnumProvident or one or more of its insuring subsidiaries after being subjected to any of the practices alleged in the complaint.
QS represents 4 of the 7 individual plaintiffs in the case who are now class representatives. Those 7 plaintiffs will now represent the interests of thousands of people across the country whose claims were terminated or denied by Unum’s alleged illegal scheme.
In the decision, Judge Curtis Collier, the Chief Judge in the Eastern District of Tennessee, detailed the many allegations of unlawful conduct alleged in the complaint, including allegations that Unum sought to save money by budgeting the claims process, rewarding company employees, including in-house doctors, through compensation and bonuses for denying or terminating as many claims as possible, and creating secret documents that predicted in advance when claims would be terminated.
Schwartz, Conroy & Hack is the premier disability insurance law firm in the United States. To see how we can help you, contact us.
Evan S. Schwartz
Founder of Schwartz, Conroy & Hack