Insurance Company Denies Disability Benefits to Custodian with Rheumatoid Arthritis

Insurance Company Denies Disability Benefits to Custodian with Rheumatoid Arthritis

Our client, the plaintiff, worked as a custodian with a records management company in North York for many years.

After years of achy joints, he developed chronic back pain in his early 40s, and was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis. His doctor believed that his condition was exacerbated by his physical occupation.

The plaintiff was unable to continue working, and applied for long-term disability benefits through his employer’s group insurance plan.

The insurance company rejected his claim for disability benefits on the basis that he could find another job, one that was less physically strenuous. They claimed that if he had a job where he could sit for several hours at a time, his arthritis would not impact his work or energy levels.

The plaintiff knew that this wasn’t the case – sitting did not help with the pain. He was determined to prove to the insurance company that they were wrong.

He underwent an independent medical examination (IME) with a doctor chosen by the insurance company and was told that he was well to return to work, as long as he could perform tasks that were less physically demanding.  

Our client and his own doctors strongly disagreed. The plaintiff’s own family doctor stated to the insurance company that if her patient returned to work anytime soon, it would be detrimental to his condition.

Share Lawyers sued the insurance company for failing to take reasonable steps to assess the plaintiff’s claim and for denying his claim contrary to the weight of medical evidence.

After a mediation sessions between Share Lawyers and the insurance company’s lawyers, a lump-sum settlement was awarded to Share Lawyers’ client.

The financial settlement  gave our client some breathing room, knowing that he didn’t have to rush back to work, and could focus on managing his pain.

*All names and identifying details have been changed for confidentiality purposes.


Has your long-term disability insurance claim been denied? Contact Share Lawyers and put our experience to work for you. We offer free consultations and there are no fees unless we win your case.

We have recently settled cases against many insurance companies, such as Standard Life, Desjardins, Manulife, RBC Insurance, and Sun Life. We love hearing feedback from our clients, so please share your own experience with us.