Aug 18, 2017

Frank Comments


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11/17/2008
Brian S. King
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It's not that common to see federal judges really speak their mind in frank language.  A March 29, 2006, Memorandum and Order in Wilson v. Life Ins. Co. of North America, case no. 4:05cv3133 out of the federal district court of Nebraska, has some unusually pointed language about an insurer's actions.  Judge Richard G. Kopf was evaluating whether a disability insurer was correct in denying a claimant's disability application. 

Mr. Wilson worked as a telephone cable repairer.  He had suffered a heart attack that required two stents, a stroke resulting from coronary artery disease, loss of vision in the right side of each eye as a result of the stroke, poorly controlled diabetes and peripheral vascular disease that caused severe leg pain.  He qualified for Social Security disability benefits.  The insurer, LINA, said that while he couldn't work as a telephone cable repairer anymore, he could be a maintenance scheduler or a service dispatcher. 

Judge Kopf started his analysis of Wilson's claim in this way.  "Frankly, it is hard to know where to begin.  How LINA could conclude that a heart attack and stroke victim in his early fifties could work full-time even at seated work, when he was literally half blind, had serious vascular problems, and suffered severe pain that deprived him of normal sleep, is beyond me.  That said, here are four points that highlight why I think Wilson made his case (and then some) . . . "   

Mr. Wilson got his benefits.



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