Dental Hygienist Wins Large Jury Verdict in Disability Insurance Lawsuit
In 1996, Plaintiff Laura Kieffer developed carpal tunnel syndrome and severe cervical pain which forced her to stop working as a dental hygienist. Thereafter, Kieffer started receiving disability payments under an individual disability insurance policy she purchased from Paul Revere Life Insurance Company and its parent company the Unum Group Corporation. Even though she had been receiving disability payments for nearly ten years, Unum terminated her benefits in March of 2008. As a result, Laura sued in Los Angeles Superior Court alleging that Unum had unreasonably terminated her benefits. She sued for breach of contract, insurance bad faith and for punitive damages. This week, a jury awarded her $4.2 million in compensatory and punitive damages. Unum intends to appeal the verdict.