Fibromyalgia & Chronic Pain LIFE Summer 2013, Issue 9 - Page 24

Legal Update California Court Decision is a G R E AT V I C T O R Y fo r P e o p l e D i s a b l e d b y F i b ro m y a l g i a by Rachel Alters his case is yet another example of MetLife’s, as well as most of the insurance industry’s, position and disregard for fibromyalgia disability claims. The plaintiff was a registered nurse who was covered by a MetLife long-term disability plan provided through her employer which provided benefits due to sickness or accidental injury. The plaintiff was diagnosed with fibromyalgia with multiple auto-immune diseases resulting in chronic fatigue, poor focus, widespread pain, anxiety and depression. These symptoms were interfering with her ability to perform the material and substantial duties of her occupation as a registered nurse, which MetLife described as a medium level occupation. T T he Plaintiff had a long history of subjective complaints regarding her inability to focus at work, recurrent dizziness, pains in her hands, neck and feet which worsened with prolonged sitting, standing, lifting, writing, and computer use as well as recurrent dizziness with bending over, squatting and head movements. MetLife never examined the Plaintiff, relying solely on paper reviews performed by its hired physicians, stating that Plaintiff ’s complaints were subjective and were not supported by objective data. They denied her claim based on the lack of objective evidence. The Plaintiff filed an appeal providing additional medical records and physicians’ medical opinions in support of her disabling condition. MetLife hired physicians to conduct paper reviews of her file and again concluded that there was