Robbie Hargett Nov. 19, 2015, 1:35pm


A holding company and an insurance company face a lawsuit over the alleged denial of benefits.

Jennifer E. Gardner filed a lawsuit Nov. 11 in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania against Santander Holdings USA Employee Benefit Plan, Santander Holdings USA, and Liberty Mutual Assurance Co. of Boston, alleging denial of benefits in violation of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act.

On Aug. 21, 2014, Gardner applied for short-term disability benefits under the Standard Holdings USA Employee Benefit Plan, with Standard Holdings as plan administrator and Liberty Mutual as third party administrator. She was awarded the benefits four days later.

Under the plan, the suit states, the benefits would be due through Feb. 13 at most, but prior to expiration of the benefits, Gardner applied for long-term disability benefits. Gardner received these benefits from Feb. 14 to Feb. 20. On Feb. 26, she was denied long-term disability benefits. The suit alleges the defendants failed to provide specific reasons for a denial of benefits, and failed to fully and fairly review the claim.

Gardner seeks to recover benefits owed under the terms of the plan, plus attorney fees. She is represented by attorney Patrick J. Best in Stroudsburg.

U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania case number 1:15-cv-02162-JEJ

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