HUNTINGTON - A former employee of Waste Management of West Virginia is suing, seeking benefits under the employee long-term disability plan.

Timothy Smith filed a lawsuit Nov. 22 in the United States District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia at Huntington against Life Insurance Company of North America, Waste Management of West Virginia Inc. Long Term Disability Plan and Does 1 through 10, citing the violation of Section 502.

According to the complaint, Smith was an employee of Waste Management of West Virginia and a qualified participant in the long-term disability plan. The plan provided for the payment of disability benefits if the participant became totally disabled, the complaint says.

The complaint claims that on Jan. 1, 2009, Smith became totally disabled and was unable to work. He says that on Jan. 16, 2009, he was denied short-term disability benefits and appealed the denial on Aug. 13, 2009.

Smith applied for long-term disability benefits and was denied on Aug. 27, 2010. The complaint states that Smith appealed on Feb. 23, 2011, and was approved in June 2011, at which time he was sent a check for his back pay. According to the complaint, the plaintiff's claim for long-term disability was again denied on Nov. 4, 2011, and appealed on May 2, 2012, and the denial was affirmed on Aug. 23, 2012.

Smith is seeking a judgment ordering the defendants to pay him all benefits due under the plan, declaring that all rights and benefits due to him are vested and non-forfeitable or to award him a money judgment for all sums owed, plus prejudgment interest, attorneys fees and court costs.

He is being represented in the case by attorney J. Patrick L. Stephens.

United States District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia at Huntington Civil Action No. 3:13-cv-29919

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