Free Consultation 877.583.2524
We do not handle social security disability claims
logo celebrating

Nationwide Leaders in Disability Insurance Law

shook hands

CIGNA Again Taken To Task For LTD Claim Handling

Monday, February 9th, 2009

Insurance companies employ a variety of claim handling techniques when seeking to wrongfully terminate a claimant from continued benefits.  Fortunately, some courts are beginning to see through such conduct.

CIGNA has once again seen its claim handling of long term disability claims chastised by a Federal Court.  The decision, Alfano v. CIGNA Life Insurance, from the Southern District of New York, determined that CIGNA’s conduct was arbitrary and capricious.  In terminating a claim which had been paid for several years, CIGNA relied upon the results of a flawed Functional Capacity Evaluation (“FCE”), as well as paper reviews of the medical records, by biased in house and outside medical reviewers.  The Court decided that the medical reviews relied heavily, if not exclusively, upon the FCE’s summary conclusions that Alfano was capable of performing sedentary work, despite the fact that the underlying testing data was inconsistent with that conclusion. 

The claimant suffered from back pain and leg weakness as a result of a motor vehicle accident.  His claim was approved by the Social Security Administration, and CIGNA embraced the financial benefit of the SSDI decision to reduce its obligations to Mr. Alfano. The Court found such conduct to be some indicia that CIGNA was not acting properly.  The Court noted that while the SSDI determination was not determinative, it was deserving of substantial weight because the decision was corroborated by record evidence establishing impairment. 

Thus, the Court entered judgment in the claimant’s favor and refused to remand the claim back to CIGNA to further consider eligibility for the past due benefits.  The open issues now involve whether attorneys’ fees and interest will be awarded by the Court.

Jason A. Newfield

Written By:

Jason A. Newfield - Disability Insurance Attorney

Jason Newfield is a founding partner of the disability insurance law firm Frankel & Newfield. He has spent the majority of his legal career advocating for the rights of disabled workers. He has lectured other professionals, worked on a Federal Advisory committee, and published many articles in the field of disability insurance claims and litigation.

Learn more about Jason | See Jason’s Publications



Ready To Talk?

Fill out the form to request a FREE legal consultation

Sorry, we do not handle SSDI/Social Security claims.

Frankel & Newfield does not currently handle any Social Security Disability Insurance claims.


*Required fields are marked

I have read the disclaimer.

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


This is about a Social Security Disability claim.

Ipad image

Download Our Free eBook


Secrets the Disability Insurance Companies Don't Want You to know!

Sign Up for our mailing list to receive disability insurance law updates

Your information is 100% secure and will never be shared with anyone


No matter where you are nationwide, we are here to help.

We have the resources and support to take on the largest insurance companies.

Contact us today for our nationwide service.

Contact Us
Illinois Indiana Iowa Kansas Kentucky Louisiana Maine Maryland Massachusetts Michigan Minnesota Mississippi Missouri
Nebraska Nevada New Hampshire New Jersey New York North Carolina North Dakota Ohio Oklahoma Oregon Pennsylvania Rhode Island South Carolina
South Dakota Tennessee Texas Utah Vermont Virginia Washington West Virginia Wisconsin Wyoming