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

Nationwide Leaders in Disability Insurance Law

shook hands


Friday, March 25th, 2016

A Federal Judge in Kentucky has determined that Liberty Life acted in an arbitrary and capricious manner in terminating a Long Term Disability Insurance claim of a branch manager of a bank, who suffered from back and neck pain following an accident. In reaching its decision that Liberty Life wrongfully terminated the claim, the Court took account of Liberty Life’s conflict of interest but decided that Liberty Life’s conduct in seeking surveillance and an examination was not evidence that it was influenced by its financial conflict of interest.

However, the Court did find problematic that Liberty Life gave more emphasis to the opinions of non-treating physicians over those who have examined the claimant. After recognizing that an insurer is not required to adopt the opinions of a treating physician, the Court stated that “Liberty had no apparent reason to credit” its paper reviewing doctor over the objective findings and personal examination of the treating doctor.

In reaching its decision, the Court also was troubled by the failure to consider the co-morbid medical conditions contributing to the claimant’s impairment. The Court found reports relied upon by Liberty Life to be “conclusory and not well reasoned”, and thus not sufficient to constitute substantial evidence to uphold the claim determination to terminate long term disability insurance benefits.

Liberty Life also attempted to provide a “post-hoc” rationalization to support its claim determination. These efforts were rejected by the Court.

The Court determined that a remand to Liberty Life for further consideration of the claimant’s eligibility for further long term disability insurance benefits was the appropriate relief.

Brianard v. Liberty Life Assur. Co.

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