Pennsylvania Record

Thursday, September 19, 2019

Denial of long-term disability benefits leads former employee to sue insurance provider Hartford Life

By Nicholas Malfitano | Aug 23, 2017

MEDIA – A former administrative assistant with Exelon Corporation is pursuing legal action against her insurance provider for denying her payments of long-term disability benefits.

Christine C. Hushion of Media filed suit in the Delaware County Court of Common Pleas on July 14 versus The Hartford Life Accident & Insurance Company, of Simsbury, Conn.

Hushion was employed by Exelon Corporation as an administrative assistant/coordinator and covered under a group disability plan, which included benefits for short and long-term disability income. Under the plan, it would cover the plaintiff for two years and conditionally afterwards, if necessary.

Hushion last worked for Exelon on April 7, 2013 and received short-term disability benefits, which ended Oct. 6, 2013. On or about Oct. 2, 2013, Hushion was approved for long-term disability benefits, consisting of monthly payments of $5,408.74, a benefit percentage of 60 percent, with a gross monthly LTD benefit of $3,425.24.

Hushion has not been able to return to her work and has been disabled indefinitely, due to injuries to her neck, lower back, both shoulders, cervical radiculopathy in both arms and the front of her forehead, migraines, constant right arm and right shoulder pain with significant lack of range of motion in her right upper extremity, lumbar radiculopathy into her lower left extremity and left shoulder pain.

These injuries caused Hushion to undergo neck surgery on July 18, 2013, to fuse her C3-C6 vertebrae, left shoulder surgery on Feb. 11, 2014. Hushion also herniated discs at the L4-L5 and L5-S1 vertebral junctions which caused left leg pain, and had a history of chronic migraines which can be debilitating, lasting up to 24 hours or more.

Hartford offered to assist Hushion in applying for Social Security Disability benefits and referred her to be represented by Allsup, located in Belleville, Ill. Having been determined eligible to receive Social Security Disability benefits, Hartford sought to re-evaluate her candidacy for long-term disability benefits.

As a result Hushion was denied her long-term disability benefits on Oct. 7, 2015. Hushion appealed the decision and was denied on Sept. 13, 2016, and claims Hartford’s denial constitutes breach of contract and violation of applicable law.

For violation of the ERISA statute, the plaintiff is seeking a declaration of entitlement to the long-term disability benefits, from the point at which the benefits were terminated, up to the present and into the future, attorney’s fees, costs and such other and further relief as the Court deems just and proper in this matter. Alternatively, the plaintiff asks the Court to remand the case back to the Plan Administrator (Exelon) and/or defendant Hartford for further review and evaluation.

The plaintiff is represented by Anthony S. Pinnie and William T. Neill, III of Pinnie Law Offices, in Media.

Delaware County Court of Common Pleas case 2017-006242

From the Pennsylvania Record: Reach Courts Reporter Nicholas Malfitano at

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Delaware County Court of Common Pleas