Man in dispute with insurance company over long-term disability payments

John Suayan, Galveston Bureau Jul. 18, 2011, 2:34pm

GALVESTON � A Galveston County man battling mental health issues is suing his insurance company, claiming it stopped payment on his monthly benefits.

In a lawsuit filed July 5 in Galveston County District Court, Leo Rudd explains he purchased a group long-term disability insurance policy through Cigna Health and Life Insurance Co., which guaranteed lifetime compensation for total disability due to injuries.

The suit shows Rudd suffers from a recurrent, major depressive disorder resulting from a traumatic event surrounding the death of his daughter in a motor vehicle accident.

He made the claim for the loss in April 2009 in accordance with the short-term disability provision of the plan and was made eligible to receive benefits for six months, provided he remained disabled as defined in his contract under the plan.

According to the original petition, Cigna wrongfully claims that Rudd's behavior is indicative of clinical "stabilization/improvement."

"Rudd hereby asserts his claim for breach of contract by the defendant for wrongful denial of his claim for major depressive order under the provisions of the policy," the suit says.

"Rudd seeks maximum monthly benefits pursuant to the option long term disability provision of the policy and in the alternative seeks acceleration of the payments in a lump sum, calculated from Rudd's 65th birthday discounted to present value."

The suit lists five counts of alleged wrongdoing against Cigna.

A jury trial is requested.

Klitsas & Vercher PC is representing Rudd, and Galveston County 122nd District Court Judge John Ellisor is presiding over the case.

Case No. 11-cv-1091

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