T-Mobile Sued For Denying Employee Disability Insurance Coverage

A Philadelphia woman has sued her employer, T-Mobile, USA, Inc., for denying her application for disability insurance benefits under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA). The Nov. 30 complaint claims that the plaintiff qualified for benefits notwithstanding T-Mobile’s repeated denials of her requests.

The complaint also singles out the benefits administrator, Broadspire, a Crawford Company, but does not name that entity as a defendant. The filing explains that “[o]n a date certain,” the plaintiff filed an application for short-term disability benefits with Bellevue, Washington- headquartered T-Mobile. In a response dated Jul. 10, 2019, T-Mobile “administered by Broadspire,” allegedly determined that “there was a lack of clinical evidence to support Plaintiff’s inability to perform essential duties of her occupation,” and denied the claim.

The plaintiff filed an administrative appeal, which was denied in October 2019. Subsequently, the plaintiff submitted another appeal, this time padded with more medical records and physician opinions. A­­ccording to the five-page ERISA complaint, this information “was sufficient to establish the proof of loss that the Plaintiff suffered in order to support her claim for short term disability benefits.” Yet, the filing explains, the plaintiff’s efforts proved fruitless and T-Mobile advised her to file a lawsuit in conjunction with its July 2020 denial.

The instant suit claims that T-Mobile acted arbitrarily and capriciously when it denied the plaintiff’s claim for short-term disability benefits in violation of ERISA. The plaintiff argues that the defendant also acted “in a manner serving only its own business interest,” by unfairly rejecting her request.

The plaintiff seeks an order from the Eastern District of Pennsylvania compelling T-Mobile to grant her short term disability benefits effective from Jun. 1, 2019, pre-judgment interest, an award of her attorneys’ fees and litigation costs, and any other relief the court deems appropriate.

The plaintiff is represented by Pond, Lehocky, LLP.