Sometimes a worker suffers an injury or illness so severe that it disables him or her. Not being able to work can be a financial blow, but if a person has a long-term disability insurance plan, they may be provided with the benefits needed to help support them and their family during a difficult time. However, what would happen if these benefits were suddenly taken away?
A worker is pursuing a lawsuit under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) against Kansas City Southern Welfare Benefit Plan and Life Insurance Co. of North America, claiming a wrongful termination of his disability benefits. The worker claims that seven years ago he suffered a disability that kept him from working. At the time he had been employed as an operations manager for a railroad, which he had worked at for over 30 years. Initially, he was approved to receive long-term disability benefits.
However, in July 2015 his disability benefits were terminated. The worker claims that he should still be receiving benefits, as his disability still keeps him from being able to work in any type of job. He is seeking recovery for past due benefits. He is also seeking a payment of $110 per day that the defendants did not give him the plan documents he asked for. He also asks for future benefits to be reinstated, and he is seeking retroactive benefits.
It remains to be seen what the outcome of this lawsuit will be. ERISA lawsuits can be very complicated but are sometimes necessary when a person’s benefits have been wrongfully terminated. An ERISA disability appeals attorney may be able to assist workers in such situations.
Source: PennRecord, “Former railroad worker seeks disability benefits from Kansas City Southern Welfare plan,” Louie Torres, Nov. 7, 2017