BECKLEY - A man is suing Standard Insurance Company in federal court after he claims it breached its contract with him and acted in bad faith.

Richard Williamson was employed by West Virginia Department of Corrections as a corrections officer until he was unable to continue working on Feb. 5, 2010, according to a complaint filed Aug. 5 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia at Beckley.

Williamson claims on Feb. 5, 2010, he was unable to continue working in his own occupation at West Virginia Public Employees Insurance Agency and Standard paid benefits through Aug. 3, 2012.

With a family dependent on his income, Williamson recognized the need for disability insurance that would protect him from income loss in the event he could no longer work due to injury or illness and, as a result, had elected coverage for the purpose of securing disability insurance, according to the suit.

Williamson claims the defendant paid his disability benefits through Aug. 3, 2012, and on May 10, he was denied long-term disability benefits, concluding that he was capable of full-time sedentary or light-level jobs.

The defendant's denial of disability benefits is not consistent with the contract and constitutes bad faith in its failure to consider Williamson's treating physicians' opinions; failed to conduct an independent medical evaluation; failed to provide a vocational assessment that considered the effect of pain; and finding that he was capable of working full-time, according to the suit.

Williamson claims as a result of the defendant's denial of long-term benefits, he has not received the monthly benefits to which he is entitled under the disability insurance policy.

The defendant breached its contract with Williamson and has caused him substantial damages, according to the suit.

Williamson is seeking for the Court to award him damages for disability benefits that Standard should have paid since August 2012; declare that under the disability insurance policy, the defendant must continue making monthly disability payments with cost-of-living adjustments; find that the defendant engaged in statutory bad faith; find that the defendant engaged in common law bad faith; and award compensatory damages. He is being represented by Gregory G. Paul of Morgan & Paul PLLC.

U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia at Beckley case number: 5:13-cv-21469

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