BECKLEY – A woman is suing Cigna Insurance Group after she claims it breached its contract with her.

Life Insurance Company of North America and Shentel Management Company were also named as defendants in the suit.

Frances Pertee was employed full-time by Shentel or a subsidiary in Wyoming County and received employment disability insurance coverage, which included long-term disability benefits, according to a complaint filed April 25 in Wyoming Circuit Court and removed to federal court on July 20.

Pertee claims she began suffering seizures in 2013 and was awarded temporary disability benefits and, on June 20, 2014, Cigna denied further short-term disability and requested that she file further information relating to a long-term disability claim.

Ultimately, and despite the provision of medical records from her treating neurologist and others which clearly indicated that she was disabled from gainful employment, the defendants denied her long-term disability benefits claim, as well as further short-term disability benefits, according to the suit.

Pertee claims she properly made a claim for benefits, exhausted the plan’s administrative appeals process, is entitled to long-term disability benefits under the plan’s terms and was denied that benefit.

The defendants’ actions are a breach of fiduciary responsibility and a breach of contract, according to the suit.

Pertee is seeking for the court to award her long-term disability benefits, be paid the benefits for which she has been denied and be paid pre-judgment interest. She is being represented by Timothy P. Lupardus of Lupardus Law Office.

The defendants are represented by John C. Lynch of Troutman Sanders.

U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia case number: 5:17-cv-03669

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