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Disability Insurance

The Metropolitan Life Insurance Tower

This California class action alleges that Metropolitan Life Insurance Company sold Short-Term Disability (STD) policies whose benefits were “false and illusory” because of the conditions in the policies. The complaint claims the policies provided “no increased value” over California’s State Disability Insurance (SDI) program, which residents of the state already participate in through mandatory payroll deductions.

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Plaintiff Anthony Patchell suffers from disabilities from his time as a soldier in Bosnia and Iraq. When he was finally ruled to be totally disabled, he was working for a company that had a disability insurance plan, so he expected to receive benefits from the plan. The complaint alleges that he received the benefits for a short time, but that the plan then decided he was not eligible for what he had been receiving and it began to take 100% of his benefits as a clawback. The complaint claims that this is illegal under ERISA because of a recent Supreme Court case, Montanile v. Board of Trustees of the National Elevator Industry Health Benefit Plan.