Federal Judge Allows Class Action Against Disability Insurer Unum

September 6, 2007

A federal judge in Chattanooga, Tenn. has granted class-action status to a lawsuit that contends Unum Group, the nation’s largest disability insurer, schemed to deny or terminate claims of thousands of disabled Americans.

The suit contends Unum Group violated the 1974 Employee Retirement Income Security Act, or ERISA, in claims handling, partly by creating secret documents in which non-medical employees set a “target date for cutting off future disability payments.”

The lawsuit was filed before 2004, when insurance regulators in 49 states agreed to settle an investigation of Unum Group’s claims handling, company spokesman Jim Sabourin said.

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