Successful Cases

At Eric Buchanan & Associates, our team has helped many people fight denials of disability insurance, ERISA insurance, and similar insurance claims. Here is a sample of our successful cases.

Life Insurance, Breach of Fiduciary Duties, ERISA Fiduciary:  

Rainey v. Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada

Order on Remedies, No. 3:13-CV-0612, 2014 WL 7156517 (M.D. Tenn. Dec.15, 2014).

Rainey v. Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada

Order adopting R&R, No. 3:13-CV-0612, 2014 WL 4979335 (M.D.Tenn. Oct. 6, 2014).

Rainey v. Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada

Report and Recommendation, No. 3:13-CV-0612, 2014 WL 4053389 (M.D.Tenn. Aug. 15, 2014).

In this case, an employer allowed an employee to enroll in much more life insurance than should have been allowed, and when she was later killed, we successfully argued, and the federal court agreed, that her surviving children should be awarded the full amount of the life insurance that was promised, which was a difference of $784,000.

[The district court chose not to officially publish this case, but it is available on Westlaw; however, the important information about the decision is actually found in three different decisions on Westlaw.  First, the district court judge assigned a magistrate judge to write a recommended decision, called a “Report and Recommendation,” or “R&R.”  The R&R in this case contains most of the information about the basic facts, and recommends that Rainey’s claim for the greater benefits be granted.  Rainey v. Sun Life Assur. Co. of Canada, Report and Recommendation, No. 3:13-CV-0612, 2014 WL 4053389, at 1-2 (M.D. Tenn. Aug. 15, 2014).  The court’s official decision finding in favor of Rainey’s claim is the decision of the district court judge, but it does not contain all of the detail about the facts found in the R&R.  Rainey v. Sun Life Assur. Co. of Canada, Order adopting R&R, No. 3-13-0612, 2014 WL 4979335, at 2 (M.D. Tenn. Oct. 6, 2014).  After finding in Rainey’s favor, the court then invited another round of briefing on the exact remedy available for the Rainey family, and issued another order granting the claim for the full amount of life insurance promised.  Rainey v. Sun Life Assur. Co. of Canada, Order on Remedies, No. 3-13-0612, 2014 WL 7156517, at 2 (M.D. Tenn. Dec. 15, 2014)]. For a more detailed case note on Rainey v. Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada , see more.

Cerebral hemorrhage, bleeding in the brain, stroke:  

Matthews v. Sun Life Assurance Company

345 Fed. Appx. 161 (6th Cir. 2009) (Unpublished).

We helped our client obtain life insurance benefits under a policy that allowed him to keep his life insurance if he was disabled when he stopped working. Our client became disabled due to a cerebral hemorrhage, or a stroke, that caused him to have to stop working.  After a few months he tried to come back to work, but was unable to ever really perform his job again, and he stopped working entirely after a few months.  His employer offered life insurance, that he could keep if he proved he was disabled when he stopped working.

When he first went off work the employer provide life insurance under a Jefferson Pilot policy, but while he was off work the employer switched to a policy offered by Sun Life.  After he tried to work a few months and failed, he applied to keep his life insurance because he was disabled.  Jefferson Pilot denied the coverage saying that he had come back to work after their policy ended, and therefore did not remain “totally disabled.”  However Sun Life also denied coverage saying that when he came back to work he never really was able to do the job, so he was not “actively at work” enough to be covered by their policy.

After we sued, the court ultimately held that because our client never really did return to work, he was not “gainfully employed” enough to not be “totally disabled.”  Unfortunately, by that time, he had passed away, but we were able to obtain the life insurance benefits for his widow though our success in this case. For a more detailed case note on Matthews v. Sun Life Assur. Co., see more.

Ulcerative colitis, frequent diarrhea, bowel disease, Crohn’s disease:

Myers v. Bridgestone/Firestone Long-Term Disability Benefits Plan 

No. 4:03-CV-60, 2005 WL 1240603 (E.D.Tenn. March 1, 2005).

Our client, the plaintiff, had to stop working at Bridgestone due to ulcerative colitis and frequent diarrhea, and was awarded benefits under Bridgestone’s self-funded and self-administered LTD plan.  A self-funded and self-administered plan is one in which Bridgestone itself decided which employees were disabled, and paid benefits out of company funds.

During the first two years of benefits, while the plaintiff only had to be disabled from her own occupation, she underwent a total proctocolectomy and ileostomy.  After Bridgestone paid benefits for two years, Bridgestone asked for updated records, and received disabling opinions from the plaintiff’s treating doctors.  A committee at Bridgestone then denied her ongoing benefits based on a verbal report to the committee by a doctor hired by Bridgestone.

We sued Bridgestone on behalf of our client under ERISA, and ultimately the court agreed with us that it was arbitrary and capricious to deny benefits based only on the verbal report of one doctor when all the other doctors supported disability.  To learn more about the Myers v. Bridgestone/Firestone Long-Term Disability Benefits Plan case, see more.

Fibromyalgia & Osteoarthris:

Stellas v. BWXT Y-12, LLC

3:04-CV-7, 2005 WL 2097796 (E.D.Tenn. August 29, 2005).

Our client, an accounting support specialist at Lockheed Martin, became disabled due to the chronic pain and fatigue caused by fibromyalgia and osteoarthris. Once she had been disabled for two years, she had to prove she was disabled from any occupation.  At that point, MetLife, the insurance company for her employer, denied the claim based on the opinion of a doctor who only reviewed our client’s medical records.  The court agreed with our arguments and found MetLife was arbitrary and capricious for ignoring the opinions of doctors who actually examined and treated her, and also for ignoring the finding by the Social Security Administration that she was totally disabled.  For a further discussion of  Stellas v. BWXT Y-12, see more.

Avascular necrosis (AVN), hip replacement:

Webber v. Aetna Life Insurance Company

375 F. Supp. 2d 663 (E.D. Tenn. 2005).

Our client, the plaintiff, was disabled due to avascular necrosis (AVN) in his hips, but his claim was denied by Aetna.  Aetna claimed that our client’s AVN was related to a different medical condition that was preexisting, and not covered under the policy, and therefore the AVN was not covered because it was “related to the preexisting condition.”  Later the plaintiff had a hip replacement because of the AVN, and Aetna continued to claim it was related to a preexisting condition, but even if it were not, it would not be totally disabling.

Aetna attempted to rely on one or two of its own doctors, while ignoring even other doctors Aetna had hired, as well as treating doctors.  The court ultimately agreed with us that the plaintiff was entitled to benefits.    To learn more about Webber v. Aetna Life Ins. Co., see more.

Smith v. Bayer Corporation Long Term Disability Plan

275 Fed. Appx. 495 (6th Cir. 2008) (Unpublished).

(Details to be added soon!)

Cooper v. Life Insurance Company of North America

486 F.3d 157 (6th Cir. 2007).

(Details to be added soon!)

Neaton v. Hartford Life & Accident Insurance Company

517 Fed. Appx. 475 (6th Cir. 2013) (Unpublished).

(Details to be added soon!)

Cooper v. Life Insurance Company

No. 1:05-CV-111, 2008 WL 819990 (E.D.Tenn. Mar. 25, 2008).

(Details to be added soon!)

Cooper v. Life Insurance Company of North America

No. 1;05-CV-111, 2011 WL 826190 (E.D. Tenn., Mar. 2, 2011).

(Details to be added soon!)

Potter v. Liberty Life Assurance Company

132 Fed. Appx. 253 (11th Cir. 2005) (Unpublished).

(Details to be added soon!)

Knight v. Provident Life & Accident Insurance Company

No. 3:12-CV-01226, 2014 WL 1280278 (M.D. Tenn. Mar. 27, 2014).

(Details to be added soon!)

Bailey v. United of Omaha Life Insurance Company

938 F. Supp. 2d 736 (W.D. Tenn. 2013).

(Details to be added soon!)

Edwards v. Lincoln National Life Insurance Company

No. 3:11-00021, 2012 WL 1902396 (M.D. Tenn. May 25, 2012).

(Details to be added soon!)

Satterwhite v. Metropolitan Life Insurance Company

No. 1:06-CV-165, 2007 WL 2746886 (E.D. Tenn. Sept. 19, 2007).

(Details to be added soon!)

Satterwhite v. Metropolitan Life Insurance Company

No. 1:06-CV-165, 2008 WL 2952473 (E.D. Tenn. July 29, 2008).

(Details to be added soon!)

Satterwhite v. Metropolitan Life Insurance Company

No. 1:06-CV-165, 2011WL 1103429 (E.D. Tenn. Feb. 19, 2011).

(Details to be added soon!)

Satterwhite v. Metropolitan Life Insurance Company

803 F. Supp. 2d 803 (E.D. Tenn. 2011).

(Details to be added soon!)

Mulligan v. Provident Life & Accident Insurance Company

271 F.R.D. 584 (E.D. Tenn. 2011).

(Details to be added soon!)

Walsh v. Metropolitan Life Insurance

No. 3:06-1099, 2010 WL 1609494 (M.D. Tenn. Apr. 20, 2010).

(Details to be added soon!)

Frassrand v. Metropolitan Life Insurance Company

No. 1:07-CV-222, 2010 WL 1252817, (E.D. Tenn. March 24, 2010).

(Details to be added soon!)

Frassrand v. Metropolitan Life Insurance Company

1:07-CV-222, 2009 WL 6313560 (E.D.Tenn. June 1, 2009).

(Details to be added soon!)

Kinsler v. Lincoln National Life Insurance Company

660 F. Supp. 2d 830 (M.D. Tenn. 2009).

(Details to be added soon!)

Goetz v. Greater Georgia Life Insurance Company

649 F. Supp. 2d 802 (E.D. Tenn. 2009).

(Details to be added soon!)

Rannigan v. Long Term Disability Insurance for Employees of Schwan’s Shared Services

No. 1:08-CV-256, 2009 WL 1362045 (E.D. Tenn. May 13, 2009).

(Details to be added soon!)

Walsh v. Metropolitan Life Insurance Company

3:06-1099, 2009 WL 603003 (M.D. Tenn. Mar. 9, 2009).

(Details to be added soon!)

Molodetskiy v. Nortel Networks Short-Term & Long-Term Disability Plan

594 F. Supp. 2d 870 (M.D. Tenn. 2009).

(Details to be added soon!)

Warden v. Metropolitan Life Insurance Company

574 F. Supp. 2d 838 (M.D. Tenn. 2008).

(Details to be added soon!)

Wells v. Unum Life Insurance Company of America

593 F. Supp. 2d 1303 (N.D. Ga. 2008).

(Details to be added soon!)

McKay v. Reliance Standard Life Insurance Company

654 F. Supp. 2d 731 (E.D. Tenn. 2009).

(Details to be added soon!)

McKay v. Reliance Standard Life Insurance Company

No. 1:06-CV-267, 2007 WL 2897870 (E.D. Tenn. September 28, 2007).

(Details to be added soon!)

McKay v. Reliance Standard Life Insurance Company

428 Fed. Appx. 537 (6th Cir. 2011) (Unpublished).

(Details to be added soon!)

Byrd v. Metropolitan Life Insurance Company

No. 3:07-CV-206, 2008 WL 974787 (E.D. Tenn. Apr. 9, 2008).

(Details to be added soon!)

Preston v. Secretary of Health and Human Services

854 F.2d 815 (6th Cir. 1988).

(Details to be added soon!)

Bradford v. Metropolitan Life Insurance Company

514 F.Supp.2d 1024 (E.D.Tenn. 2007).

(Details to be added soon!)

Bradford v. Metropolitan Life Insurance Company

No. 3:05-CV-240, 2007 WL 956640 (E.D.Tenn. March 29, 2007).

(Details to be added soon!)

Bradford v. Metropolitan Life Insurance Company

No.3:05-CV-240, 2006 WL 1006578 (E.D.Tenn. April 14, 2006).

(Details to be added soon!)

Schlachter v. Life Insurance Company of North America

No. 3:05-CV-296 , 2007 WL 128326 (E.D.Tenn. Jan. 11, 2007).

(Details to be added soon!)

Platt v. Walgreen Income Protection Plan for Store Managers

455 F.Supp.2d 734 (M.D. Tenn. 2006).

(Details to be added soon!)

Platt v. Walgreen Income Protection Plan For Store Managers

No. 3:05-0162, 2006 WL 3694580 (M.D.Tenn. Dec. 14, 2006).

(Details to be added soon!)

Hall v. Baker Hughes Inc. Long Term Disability Plan

No. 2:05-CV-63, 2006 WL 270283 (E.D.Tenn. February 2, 2006).

(Details to be added soon!)

Dies v. Provident Life & Accident Insurance Company

No. 3:04-CV-0113, 2006 WL 208878; 37 Employee Benefits Cas. (BNA) 2364, (M.D.Tenn. Jan. 25, 2006).

(Details to be added soon!)

Williamson v. Unumprovident Corporation

Nos. 1:04-CV-162,1:04-CV-163, 2005 WL 6731769 (E.D.Tenn. Oct. 21, 2005).

(Details to be added soon!)

Green v. Prudential Insurance Company of America

383 F. Supp. 2d 980 (M.D. Tenn. 2005).

(Details to be added soon!)

Myers v. Prudential Insurance Company of America

581 F. Supp. 2d 904 (E.D. Tenn. 2008).

(Details to be added soon!)

Bennett v. Unum Life Insurance Company of America

321 F. Supp. 2d 925 (E.D. Tenn. 2004).

(Details to be added soon!)

Addison v. Hartford Life & Accident Insurance

No. 1:03-CV-172, 2003 WL 23413737 (E.D.Tenn. December 12, 2003).

(Details to be added soon!)

Kilpatrick v. Intertrade Holdings, Inc.

No. 1:02-CV-173, 2003 WL 21938912; 31 Employee Benefits Cas. (BNA) 1984, (E.D.Tenn. July 7, 2003).

(Details to be added soon!)

Carty v. Metro. Life Insurance Company

No. 3:15-CV-01186, 2017 WL 660680 (M.D. Tenn. Feb. 17, 2017).

(Details to be added soon!)

Carty v. Metro. Life Insurance Company

No. 3:15-CV-01186, 2016 WL 7325334 (M.D. Tenn. December 15, 2016).

(Details to be added soon!)

Temponeras v. United States Life Insurance Company of America

185 F.Supp.3d 1010 (S.D. Ohio 2016).

(Details to be added soon!)

Gooden v. Unum Life Insurance Company of America

181 F.Supp.3d 465 (E.D. Tenn. 2016).

(Details to be added soon!)

Harris-Frye v. United of Omaha Life Insurance Company

No. 1:14-CV-72, 2015 WL 5562196 (E.D. Tenn. September 21, 2015).

(Details to be added soon!)

Harris-Frye v. United of Omaha Life Insurance Company

No. 1:14-CV-72, 2015 WL 5562193 (E.D. Tenn. June 1, 2015).

(Details to be added soon!)

McAlister v. Liberty Life Assurance Company of Boston

647, Fed. Appx. 539 (6th Cir. 2016).

(Details to be added soon!)

McAlister v. Liberty Life Assurance Company of Boston

No. 14-22-DLB-HAI, 2015 WL 4529297 (E.D. Ky. July 27, 2015).

(Details to be added soon!)

Strickland v. Merck & Co., Inc.

No. 3:13-CV-01085, 2015 WL 1311737 (M.D.Tenn. March 23, 2015).

(Details to be added soon!)

Hammonds v. Aetna Life Insurance Company

No. 2:13-CV-310, 2015 WL 1299515 (S.D. Ohio, March 23, 2015).

(Details to be added soon!)

Holt v. Life Insurance Company of North America

No. 1:13-CV-339, 2015 WL 1243529 (E.D. Tenn. March 18, 2015).

(Details to be added soon!)

Bailey v. United of Omaha Life Insurance Company

No. 13-CV-02996 SHL, 2014 WL 5822846 (W.D. Tenn. November 10, 2014).

(Details to be added soon!)

Jensen v. Aetna Life Insurance Company

32 F.Supp.3d 894 (W.D. Tenn. 2014).

(Details to be added soon!)

Kasko v. Aetna Life Insurance Company

33 F.Supp.3d 782 (E.D. Ky. 2014).

(Details to be added soon!)

Brown v. Federal Express Corporation

62 F.Supp.3d 681 (W.D. Tenn. 2014).

(Details to be added soon!)

Knight v. Provident Life and Accident Insurance Company

No. 3:12-CV-01226, 2014 WL 1280278 (M.D. Tenn. March 27, 2014).

(Details to be added soon!)

Knight v. Provident Life and Accident Insurance Company

No. 3:12-CV-01226, 2014 WL 460018 (M.D. Tenn. February 05, 2014).

(Details to be added soon!)

McClain v. Eaton Corporation Disability Plan

740 F.3d 1059 (6th Cir. 2014).

(Details to be added soon!)

Smith v. Bayer Corporation Long Term Disability Plan

No. 3:04-CV-128, 2009 WL 676774 (E.D. Tenn. Mar. 11, 2009).

(Details to be added soon!)