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

Nationwide Leaders in Disability Insurance Law

shook hands

Court Finds CIGNA to Be Arbitrary and Capricious

Thursday, April 18th, 2013

A Federal Court in Ohio has issued a decision granting the application of a claimant with a long term disability insurance claim, finding that CIGNA’s denial of the claim was arbitrary and capricious. The Court chastised CIGNA for relying upon isolated office visit notes, one of which noted the claimant was “doing well”. The Court correctly determined that such a statement is merely relative, and that it offered no evidence of the claimant’s ability to work.

The claimant had previous brain surgery, so the term doing well was in regard to the recovery from the procedure, rather than an indication of her overall level of functionality. As noted by the Court, “getting better”, without more, does not equal able to work. This critical point highlighted CIGNA’s selective medical review, and the Court took issue with such conduct.

The Court was also troubled by CIGNA’s vocational review, holding that it failed to properly consider the ability to perform her actual work duties, rather than simply a classification of functional levels, as sedentary. By failing to consider the actual duties performed, and relying upon the generic classification of sedentary, CIGNA acted improperly.

The claimant supported her claim for impairment largely upon the support of co-workers, who articulated the functional deficits and inability to perform her work, without a lot of medical documentation. Nonetheless, the Court was convinced that CIGNA failed to properly evaluate the claim, and that its conduct lacked a “deliberate, principled reasoning process.”

These issues are quite common in our practice, and we often see this type of claim handling conduct, lacking in deliberate, principled reasoning process, which results in unfair denials and terminations of claims for long term disability benefits.

Connors v. CIGNA

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