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Denied Claims Blog

After Insurance Denial, Family Turns to the Media

December 16, 2016

The unjust denial of a claim can be a frustrating time for a family already suffering through an illness. But one family in Central Florida took their frustration to their local TV station.

Skip Stearn was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer and was counting on a disability insurance policy he had paid into as his family’s only source of income. Then Mutual of Omaha denied his claim, arguing that his cancer could have been a pre-existing condition.

Fighting Claim Denial – and Winning

Stearn and his wife, Jill, tried to fight the denial on their own, sending test results and doctor reports proving the cancer was not pre-existing. But it was all to no avail. That’s when they realized their fight needed some back-up.

The Stearns, struggling to pay bills, called a local Orlando TV station to help with their battle. The station’s “Action 9” segment called Mutual of Omaha on behalf of the couple. A week later, the claim was approved, although the company declined to comment on the air regarding its sudden about-face.

The station spoke to an insurance attorney who said claim denials are extremely common because employer-backed disability policies are so difficult to appeal.

Help Can Come in Many Forms

The Stearns were lucky to have a TV station on their side. But not everyone will be so lucky. It’s difficult to get the money you were counting on when you have to navigate through a complicated bureaucracy while already fighting an illness. This is not a fight you have to take on by yourself. A lawsuit can get you the funds you deserve.

Companies like Mutual of Omaha, Unum, Cigna, Standard and others have an unfortunate history of denying policyholders the benefits they deserve unless a settlement or verdict forces them to do so.

Contact us today to speak with an attorney who has experience dealing with the conglomerates that think they can push you around. We know the best ways to navigate the insurance bureaucracies, and we will stand up to your insurer to seek what you deserve.


  1. Hi ,on December 2012, I had to have a operation on my back that required the surgeon to remove 2 of my bank plates on my spine. Bedside I suffered from spinal synosis. I been seeing a doctor the last 2 years. In August of 2012 my company Petrex was bought out by another bigger company National Oil Varco. When they bought us out N.O.V. said that all employees who been with Petrex over 1 year would be grandfathered. So at this time I have been working forPetrex for 9 years, so according to N.O.V. I been working for them for 9 years. In fact I received a 10 service award fro. N. O.V. on 1/19/2013. Well N.O.V. has Umnum for there disability company so in August when we got bought out I purchased the short and long term disability from Umnum. Both short and long term policy go by the same by laws. So I was able to receive the short term disability, but when it was time for long term to take over they denied me. They said my back was preexisting I needed to work for N.O.V. for at least a year. So I told them I was grandfathered in since2003. And if that was the case why did they pay me for short term disability. I told them if they would have told me this from beginning I could have made a better chose of what option so I could be covered. So known I being evicted from my house and about to lose my car. I have no money coming in I feel unum ruined my life and my family life. Please call me if you think you can help me. My phone number is (504)717-9036 my name is Kevin Crochet .Please call because I about to be on the streets and Unum don’t care. Thank you!

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