Dentist Awarded 1.15M in Settlement After Disability Insurance Denial

What happens when, out of nowhere, you are suddenly unable to perform the duties of your occupation? You find yourself disabled from your profession, unable to pay your bills and provide for your family. Hopefully, if the unthinkable happens, you have two things: a disability policy and an insurance company that recognizes that you are unable to work and pays you the benefits they promised to pay when you bought the policy.  

Recently, when our client, a dentist who unexpectedly contracted flesh eating bacteria in his thumb, causing pain and preventing him from holding standard dental equipment, had one of those things – a disability policy. Unfortunately, what he did not have was a disability insurance company that believed he was unable to continue working as a dentist. And so, after the company denied his claim, the dentist retained Michael Horrow and his team at Donahue & Horrow LLP to help him get the benefits he was promised and deserved.

After reviewing the file, Donahue & Horrow LLP filed a lawsuit in Sonoma County California, alleging that the insurance company breached the insurance contract and did so in bad faith. The insurance company then removed the matter to the Federal Court system, and the parties were assigned a judge in the San Francisco Federal Courthouse for the Northern District of California. 

The parties conducted a mediation early in the case in the hopes of avoiding the time and financial costs of litigation. However, when no settlement was reached, Michael Horrow and his team set about putting their client in the best possible position for his case. This included requesting records from all the vendors the insurance company used for the claim, traveling around the country to take depositions of the insurer’s employees and hired doctors and hiring experts to examine the client and prepare reports to support his contention that the pain and reduced range of motion in his thumb prevented him from continuing to work. Donahue & Horrow fought relentlessly and brought multiple issues to the Magistrate Judge when it believed that that insurance company was either improperly withholding documents and information or asking for documents and information to which it was not entitled.

After the parties filed pre-trial motions and as they worked to prepare the other trial pleadings, they continued settlement discussions. Eventually, a confidential settlement was reached, ending the litigation, and allowing our client to live the life to which he had become accustomed, even though he can no longer continue working in the occupation loved and had for almost 30 years.

If you can no longer work and your insurance company is refusing to pay you the disability insurance benefits to which you believe you are entitled, call Donahue & Horrow LLP at (877) 664-5407 for a free consultation. Our dedicated team is ready to fight for the benefits you deserve.