West Virginia Record

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Man sues Liberty Mutual for breach of contract

Federal Court

By Kyla Asbury | Feb 17, 2020

Contract 01

HUNTINGTON — A Mercer County man is suing Liberty Mutual Insurance Company alleging it misrepresented his policy to him and breached its contract.

John Edmonds purchased an insurance policy with Liberty through his employer and, when the policy was issued, Liberty knew or should have known that the policy was being issued to cover the plaintiff's disability, according to a complaint filed in Putnam Circuit Court and removed to federal court.

Edmonds claims after the policy was in place, he qualified for benefits and Liberty covered the claim at first, but then later wrongfully denied benefits.

"Importantly, Liberty...specifically told Plaintiff that he could not file a claim for long-term disability because he was receiving workman's compensation funds and because he would be applying for social security and/or veterans disability," the complaint states.

Edmonds claims Liberty misled him into believing he couldn't apply for long-term disability benefits at all and he relied on those statements and did not make any other attempts to get long-term disability benefits.

Liberty wrongly and intentionally denied and mishandled the plaintiff's claim for benefits in which he was entitled, according to the complaint.

Edmonds claims the defendant breached its contract with him and violated the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA).

"Plaintiff has been damaged because he relied upon the statement and has been barred from applying for or continuing the application for LTD benefits," the complaint states.

Edmonds claims that Liberty misrepresented that he was barred from applying for LTD benefits since he had filed a workers' compensation claim and was planning to file a Social Security Disability and/or Veteran's Disability claim.

Edmonds is seeking a jury trial on all issues alleged in his complaint. He is represented by D. Adrian Hoosier II of Hoosier Law Firm in Charleston.

Liberty argues that because Edmonds made claims under ERISA, the case belongs in federal court.

Liberty is represented by David L. Delk of Grove & Delk of Wheeling.

U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia Case number: 3:20-cv-00114

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U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia