FRANKEL & NEWFIELD WIN APPEAL AGAINST HARTFORD WHO DENIED BENEFITS TO A NURSE ANESTHETIST WITH HAND INJURY
Tuesday, June 22nd, 2010
Our client worked as a Nurse Anesthetist for many years, a profession that requires a high degree of precision and manual dexterity. He underwent surgery on his cervical spine in 2006. Unfortunately, the surgery left him with significant weakness and loss of function in his right hand.
Without complete control of his hands to perform intricate medical procedures safely and effectively, he could no longer perform the tasks of a nurse anesthetist or one or more of the Essential Duties of Any Occupation.
Hartford initially approved his claim and paid benefits for more than two and a half years. Then his claim was terminated. Hartford based the denial on surveillance video, saying that activities seen on the videotape proved that he had the ability to perform one or more of the Essential Duties of Any Occupation.
We believe that Harford was less interested in the ability of our client to perform any essential duties as they were in minimizing its financial exposure.
We filed an aggressive appeal, attacking Hartford’s overreliance on the surveillance footage, particularly where the medical records unequivocally supported the claim.
This is not the first time we have fought a long term disability insurance company’s use of video surveillance.
The ability to perform the Essential Duties of Any Occupation for which he was suitable for based upon his age, education and experience requires the complete and full use of the hands.
Our appeal to the Hartford succeeded. Hartford reinstated all back benefits, and our client will continue to be paid on an ongoing basis.
If your long term disability insurance company has used surveillance videotapes to deny your claim, call our office to learn how we can help. This is one case where a picture is not worth a thousand words.