Disabled worker accuses MetLife of denying long-term benefits

By Robert Hadley | Feb 19, 2016


CHARLESTON – A Fayette County man is suing his insurance carrier in a dispute surrounding disability benefits.

Derek Williams filed a lawsuit Feb. 4 in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia at Charleston against Metropolitan Life Insurance Co., and five unnamed individuals, alleging breach of an insurance agreement.

According to the complaint, because Williams suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety and depression, he was unable to work and applied for disability benefits under his employer’s coverage. On Aug. 17, 2012, the last day Williams was able to work for Alpha Natural Resources, he applied for and initially received short-term disability benefits.

The suit claims that MetLife denied Williams additional short-term benefits in June 2013, but reversed its decision on appeal in January 2014, eventually paying him the remaining amount owed. However, MetLife has continued to deny Williams long-term benefits, despite appeals and having met the requirements and providing doctors’ testimonies.

Williams seeks recovery of all benefits due under the plan, interest and litigation costs in an amount to be determined at trial. He is represented by attorney J. Patrick L. Stephens of Underwood Law Offices in Huntington.

U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia at Charleston Case number 2:16-cv-01283

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