ST. LOUIS — An Alabama woman is suing Missouri-based Ascension Health Alliance d/b/a Ascension d/b/a Saint Vincent Health and Sedgwick Claims Management Services Inc., citing alleged violation of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA).
Teresa Heartsill filed a complaint on Jan. 11 in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri against the defendants, alleging that they violated ERISA through non-payment of plan benefits.
According to the complaint, the plaintiff alleges that she was found to be suffering from chronic degenerative conditions, including rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia. On May 8, 2014, her doctor verified that she is totally and permanently disabled from any and all gainful employment, but the defendants upheld their decision to deny plaintiff of any disability benefits based on the opinion of a record reviewer they commissioned themselves, who did not examine or interview plaintiff.
Heartsill holds Ascension Health Alliance and Sedgwick Claims Management Services Inc. responsible because they allegedly denied benefits despite receiving multiple reports from plaintiff's doctor, knowing she suffers from incurable chronic conditions and denied benefits knowing that her arthritis was debilitating.
Heartsill requests a trial by jury and seeks judgment against the defendants in the amount of unpaid benefits, attorney’s fees, costs and for any other such relief as the court deems just. She is represented by Matthew R. Davis and Brad Elkin of Gallagher Davis LLP in St. Louis.
U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri Case number 17-cv-00155