Morris v. CNA(U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, ERISA Long Term Disability)-Plaintiff, a 43 year old word processor/typist by profession, sued for wrongfully denied long term disability benefits under ERISA. In 1993 Plaintiff began experiencing recurring headaches, fevers, aching and diarrhea. She continued working through 1996, treating with a variety of physicians.
After an exhaustive, multi-disciplinary medical work-up, Plaintiff was diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome. By September, 1996, her condition had deteriorated to the point that her treating physicians recommended that she cease working. Plaintiff applied for LTD benefits, which CNA turned down. Plaintiff applied for and was accepted for Social Security disability benefits. On the basis of the Social Security finding and the medical opinions of her doctors, Plaintiff repeatedly appealed to CNA to reverse their decision, but the appeals were denied.
Plaintiff filed suit in theNorthern District Court, seeking monthly benefits of approximately $600.00 to age 65, and attorneys’ fees. After the parties filed cross motions for judgment, the Court remanded the claim to CNA forfurther development of medical evidence, and awarded Plaintiff her attorney fees. Following this ruling, the claim was quickly settled for one hundred percent of the net present value of the benefits exposure, plus the reasonable value of the claimed attorney fees.