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UnumProvident ordered to pay $7.6 million in disability lawsuit. (Companies).

A jury in San Francisco has awarded a California chiropractor more than $7.6 million in benefits and damages in a disability insurance case.

UnumProvident Corp., the largest U.S. writer of disability insurance, is appealing the decision.

The San Francisco Chronicle reported the jury found Unumprovident had denied benefits improperly and acted with "oppression, fraud or malice." It awarded Dr. Joan Hangarter past and future benefits totaling $1.5 million, in addition to $5 million in punitive damages. This also included $1.1 million in artorneys' and other fees.

UnumProvident said Hangarter, a chiropractor, bought two different types of disability coverage in 1989 and 1994. In July 1997, Hangarter filed a claim under her business overhead disability policy, saying she could not work because of a diagnosis for injury to her arm, resulting in a condition commonly referred to as "tennis elbow." UnumProvident said it paid Hangarter $337,505.14 in benefits over one and a half years under that policy. When the maximum was reached in the business overhead policy, Hangarter made a claim under her individual disability policy, and UnumProvident challenged the claim.
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Comment:UnumProvident ordered to pay $7.6 million in disability lawsuit. (Companies).
Publication:Best's Review
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Mar 1, 2002
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