A federal Court Judge recently ordered a Long Term Disability Insurance Plan to pay all of Plaintiff’s (our client) attorney fees. As a result the claimant got to keep all of his LTD benefits.
In Deloach v The Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company LTD plan, the Honorable George Steeh found that the plan and its administrator Connecticut General should never have denied Mr. Deloach’s claim for LTD benefits in the first place. The Court also granted Plaintiff’s motion for attorney fees and ordered Defendant to pay for all but a small portion of the time spent by counsel on the claim. The Court also determined that $325 per hour was a reasonable hourly attorney fee.
This ruling demonstrates an important aspect of ERISA for LTD claimants. Specifically, the amount of benefits at stake in this case were such that without the prospect of Court awarded attorney fees it may have been difficult for the Plaintiff to find counsel willing to take the case.