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Fibromylagia Victim Wins Suit Against Disability Insurance Company

Attorney Calls Insurance Practice to Cut-off Benefits 'Widespread and Wrong'

SEATTLE--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Nov. 30, 1999--Seattle attorney Steven Krafchick announced victory today on behalf of a disabled woman whose disability insurance company, Paul Revere, wrongly cut off her benefits.

The 52 year old woman was an executive secretary for Noevir Corporation in California, when she was diagnosed with fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome in 1988. In May of 1992, she was no longer able to work, and began collecting disability benefits from Paul Revere Insurance Corporation. 39 months later, Paul Revere required her to see an ``independent'' examiner, not a MD but rather a neuro-psychologist, hired by them. That psychologist did not consult with longtime doctors who had been treating the woman, nor did Paul Revere provide the examiner with the woman's complete medical file. He made no psychological diagnosis, and was unable to determine what physical condition prevented Linda from working, as that determination was outside the scope of his expertise.

Paul Revere referred her medical records to other internal doctors (physicians working for the insurance company), who concluded without further examination -- and without consulting MD's who had been treating her for years -- that the woman suffered from a mental disorder.

The woman's policy required Paul Revere to pay for physical disabilities and illnesses until the insured is 65 years old. However, those who are diagnosed with ``psychiatric disorders'' are only eligible to receive benefits for up to two years. Based on their altered diagnosis, Paul Revere cut off her benefits.

The judgment rendered by Judge Robert Lasnik, Federal District Court in Seattle, orders Paul Revere to pay all back benefits and re-instate her contract benefits. According to attorney Krafchick, ``Paul Revere never should have done this to her. My client and her employer paid their premiums. Paul Revere should have honored that contract.''
``This is the plight that I see with so many of my fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome clients. Disability insurance companies target them, and that's wrong,'' Krafchick continued. ``A growing industry of doctors hired by insurance companies help insurance companies justify their ways to avoid paying premiums to their customers. It's a consumer nightmare.''

Source: Company Press Release. Tuesday November 30, 11:18 am Eastern Time. Contact: Krafchick Law Firm, Steve Krafchick, 206/374-7370. www.krafchick.com.