Plummer | Raval specializes in ERISA and disability benefits. Insurance companies often deny or terminate long-term and short-term disability benefits. Do not let them deny your benefits and then tell you that you have exhausted your legal rights according to the Benefits Plan. Let me fight for what is yours.

About Plummer | Raval

Plummer | Raval focuses on helping people with disabilities who are treated unfairly and oppressively by insurance companies and disability plan administrators. We strive to utilize our expertise as ERISA disability lawyers to bring about the best result possible for our clients.

Plummer | Raval is based in Houston, Texas. We are able to help claimants throughout the state of Texas, including the major metropolitan areas of Dallas and Austin. 

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ERISA Disability Claims

The Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) is a federal law that sets minimum standards for most voluntarily established pension, welfare and health plans in private industry. Long-term disability plans are considered welfare plans.

ERISA is not something every attorney should attempt to practice without research and experience - ERISA is a complex area of law, and few lawyers in the United States have a solid understanding of the field. As a potential client it is important that your attorney have experience in ERISA and ERISA litigation.

ERISA Disability Claim Consultation Request

Please use this form to request a consultation with Plummer | Raval for your ERISA long-term or short-term disability insurance claim. Any information you provide will be kept private, but your use of this form or any other form on the site cannot and does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and Plummer | Raval. Please read the legal policies, terms of use and privacy policy, for Plummer | Raval.

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Documents not submitted during the administrative review are not part of the adminstrative record

In Kearney v. Aetna Life Insurance Company, Civil Action No. 13-548-SDD-RLB (M.D. La. Apr. 22, 2014) Aetna provided what it claims was the complete administrative record to the Plaintiff. Plaintiff responded by filing a motion and attaching to the administrative record medical records it claims should be part of the administrative record. Aetna's appeal personnel attached an affidavit to Aetna's response in opposition to Plaintiff's motion to supplement the administrative record.

Delay in providing denial letter does not alter standard of review

Steward v. Prudential Insurance Company of America, Civil Action No. 3: 12-CV-3844-B (N.D. Tex. Jan. 10, 2014) involved a claim for disability benefits. The Court first addressed Plaintiff's argument that Prudential's failure to provide the denial letter within 45 days of Plaintiff's appeal changed the standard of review from abuse of discretion to de novo. The Court noted that neither party informed the court of the date Prudential received the appeal. The Court found that Prudential was anywhere from 62 to 86 days late.

Fifth Circuit Awards Attorney's Fees to Insurer

SPENRATH v. THE GUARDIAN LIFE INSURANCE COMPANY OF AMERICA, C.A. No. 13-20196. (5th Cir. Apr. 18, 2014) (per curiam) involved a claim for disability benefits under ERISA. Although this case cannot be cited as a precedent it is important for the appellate trap. Here the district court affirmed Guardian's denial of Ms. Spenrath's claim for disability benefits and awarded attorney's fees to Guardian. Spenrath appealed arguing there was substantial evidence in the record to support her claim for disability benefits.

Nugent v. Aetna Life Ins. Co., C.A. No. 13-30795 (5th Cir. Jan 3, 2014)

This is a case for long-term disability benefits. Court reiterated its earlier position that where there is an existing SSA determination finding that a claimant is disabled, the plan administrator must address the SSA's decision in its determination; failure to do so renders a determination procedurally unreasonable. evidence, structural conflicts of interest, and whether the SSA has awarded benefits. Schexnayder v. Hartford Life & Accident Ins. Co., 600 F.3d 465, 471 (5th Cir. 2010).

SCHIRO v. OFFICE DEPOT, C.A. No. 13-1156 (E.D. La. Jan. 27, 2014)

This is a claim for short-term disability benefits. AETNA LIFE INSURANCE COMPANY was the insurance company and SEDGWICK CLAIMS MANAGEMENT SERVICES, INC. was the claims administrator. Sedgwick denied the claim because it claimed the file lacked "objective medical evidence" of his inability to work.

Parker v. Cooper Tire & Rubber Company, 12-60503 (5th Cir. Feb. 21, 2014) (unpublished)

In an unpublished decision the Fifth Circuit limited the anti-retaliation provisions of ERISA. ERISA section 510 makes it illegal for an employer to terminate an employee with the specific intent of preventing the employee from obtaining an ERISA benefit.


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