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Cigna Gets a Very Public Airing of How It Treats Long-Term Disability Claimants

Thursday, August 8th, 2019

We want to recognize two people who took a big risk to expose how Cigna, a large disability insurance company, treats its policyowners: Glenn Clarke, who is disabled, and his attorney, our colleague and friend Michael Bartolic.

Glenn Clarke has a cardiac condition that his doctors say will kill him if he returns to his stress-filled position as a senior vice president of Interior Design magazine. He’s already had a five-way bypass and two heart attacks. He did what most people would do—filed a claim for disability through his disability insurance policy with Cigna.

Three times, Cigna has told him he is not disabled, they will not pay his benefits, and he can go back to work.

The final rejection letter says that there’s “no evidence…that this occupation involves more than occasional standing and walking.”

Clarke went public with his story, speaking to a reporter at Chicago’s CBS station about what Cigna did . See the news segment here.

Few of our own clients wish to go public with their stories, but we applaud Glenn Clarke and his attorney for taking their story to the press. This is something we see from Cigna and other disability insurance companies every day – although this case is particularly inexcusable.

Clarke has to stop and catch his breathe while making breakfast and talking with the reporter. This is not a man who can go back to work. His main focus is staying calm and staying alive.

Our colleague Michael Bartolic explained, as we have many times ourselves, that one tactic of the disability insurance company is to wear out claimants, who frequently must dip into their savings to cover their expenses while waiting for benefits. The insurance company has nothing to lose. This claimant could lose everything, including his life.

In recent years, we have found that Cigna has become one of the worst offenders when it comes to denying benefits.

When you work with a skilled disability attorney, you don’t need to make any medical or mental conditions worse when you should be focusing on your health. Whether you are fighting an insurance company that says you aren’t too sick to work or who wants you to undergo unnecessary and possibly dangerous testing, a skilled attorney fights back on your behalf.

After the reporter reached out to Cigna for a comment, a spokesperson contacted the station to say that the company is working with Mr. Clarke and his attorney to resolve the matter. Since that could mean just about anything, we’ll hope for the best for Mr. Clarke.

Frankel & Newfield represents clients across the country, doing battle with Cigna and other big disability insurance companies every day. We are experienced with their tactics, their unrelenting claim denials and the delay strategies used to wear down claimants. Call our office today at 877-583-2524 to learn how we can help you. Focus on your health – we’ll fight the insurance company for you.

Justin C Frankel

Written By:

Justin C. Frankel - Disability Insurance Attorney

Justin Frankel is a founding partner of the disability insurance law firm Frankel & Newfield and is a highly skilled litigator and advocate. He has published numerous articles on the challenges facing clients with private or individual disability insurance policies and those who own group or ERISA disability insurance policies.

Learn more about Justin | See Justin’s Publications



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