Bartolic Law has worked with multiple clients battling Lung Cancer invoke various benefits under their group insurance policies, such as long-term disability benefits, catastrophic disability benefits, and accelerated life insurance benefits.
In one case, our client’s long-term disability insurance benefits stopped because the insurer asserted after the client’s treatment cycle completed, the client should have recovered. We demonstrated to the insurer that the stage of the cancer required a level of treatment that saved the client’s life, but left permanent limitations from which the client would not recover. In another case, our client sought to obtain accelerated life insurance due to the Lung Cancer. We had to demonstrate that the client’s life expectancy was less than one year. This allowed the client to live the remainder of life with financial comfort, despite ultimately outliving the life expectancy.
Lung cancer is one of the most common cancer forms affecting millions of Americans. Estimates show that it is the third-most common cancer and the leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the USA. Mostly, it affects American males, with African-American men being more vulnerable to it than their white counterparts. This cancer occurs when lung cells multiply abnormally, causing tumor growth. Consequently, it reduces a patient’s breathing ability and often spreads to other body parts. Anyone can get this cancer, although smokers are at the highest risk, with 90 percent of cases resulting from smoking. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) say that smokers’ risk is higher by 15 to 30 times. Thus, it’s wise to quit smoking to lower your risk of getting this cancer.
Secondary smokers are also at increased risk, with 7,300 secondary smokers dying in the United States each year. The cancer’s leading initial symptoms include the following: a persistent cough, coughing blood, chest pain that increases during deep breathing, laughing, or coughing, a hoarse voice, wheezing, constant bodily fatigue, lack of appetite and weight loss. Treatment for this cancer varies depending on factors like its type, location, and phase. A patient’s personal preference and general health also determine treatment. These treatments include radiation, surgery, and chemotherapy. Its disabling complications include reduced concentration power, confusion, and restlessness, and many people cannot work following a diagnosis and during treatment.
Ferrin v. Aetna Life Ins. Co., 336 F. Supp. 3d 910 (N.D. Ill. Sept. 28, 2018) (holding insurance policy’s grant of discretionary authority is void under Texas law due to certificate being issued after effective date of regulation, and policy renewing after effective date, and holding Plaintiff was disabled from Any Reasonable Occupation where treating doctors certify she can sit at the occasional level, and insurer’s consultants opine Plaintiff can sit frequently, as weighing all evidence together would make capacity likely at low end of frequent range at best).
Sadowski v. Tuckpointers Local 52 Health & Welfare Trust, 281 F. Supp. 3d 710 (N.D. Ill. Dec. 20, 2017) (holding plan was arbitrary and capricious in denying medical benefits for removal of spinal cord stimulator following a fall down the stairs and infection where plan argued the expenses were caused by the same injury as the car accident necessitating implantation of the stimulator years earlier)
Tassone v. United of Omaha Life Ins. Co., 264 F. Supp. 3d 867 (N.D. Ill. Aug. 30, 2017) (awarding client long term disability benefits denied by United of Omaha despite insurer’s doctor opining there was no objective evidence of functional impairment)
Suson v. PNC Fin. Servs. Grp., Inc., No. 15-CV-10817, 2017 WL 3234809 (N.D. Ill. July 31, 2017) (holding Liberty Mutual’s denial of client’s long term disability benefits was arbitrary and capricious where Liberty Mutual disregarded client’s carpal tunnel syndrome and relied on a vocational opinion to which client never had an opportunity to address before litigation)