Former nurse sues over alleged denial of disability insurance

By Travis Zuellig | Jan 20, 2016


SAN FRANCISCO – A Concord woman is suing her disability insurer, claiming that the company has denied her benefits.

Sharon Hopkins filed a lawsuit Jan. 15 in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California against Metropolitan Life Insurance Co., citing violation of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974.

Hopkins became disabled from work in 2010, following an accident while working at Sutter Hospital as an intensive care unit staff nurse, the complaint states. The disability came after she fell, injuring her hip and lower extremities, the suit states, and her doctor still recommends her using an assistive device while walking, the complaint states. According to the complaint, she also suffers from issues with her shoulder and vision. She alleges that she can no longer work, and that the Social Security Administration and Workers' Compensation Appeals Board has recorded her disability.

According to the complaint, Sutter Hospital has a long-term disability insurance plan through MetLife and that she was paid benefits until January 2015, when Metlife claimed it found she could return to work. According to the suit, MetLife breached its obligation under the plan to make disability payments after Hopkins met the disability criteria.

The plaintiff is seeking compensatory damages, cost of the suit, reasonable attorney fees and other relief the court deems reasonable. P. Randall Noah of the Law Office of P. Randall Noah in Orinda will represent Hopkins.

U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California Case number 4:16-cv-00255

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