We recently reviewed and accepted a case involving a claim under a group disability policy. These policies are governed by ERISA and must be filed in federal court.

Frankly, there aren't enough attorneys well-versed in this area, and the insurance companies know it. They often terminate benefits with a few months left to go. They can save $10,000 or $20,000 per claim, which when spread over a lot of claims can mean millions in the insurance company's coffers.

This case involved a man with a mental illness. They paid him for almost two years before cutting him off.

Their bet? That he wouldn't be able to find a lawyer for a "small" ERISA disability claim.

He did and we filed suit.

The lawyer assigned to defend the case wants to know how much is owed. "Not all that much," we tell him. It's probably more than the lawyer will bill for reviewing the rather voluminous file.

Frankly, we don't usually get involved in "small" ERISA cases but this one pissed us off. We'll try to get the judge to order that our fees are paid on top of the claim.

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