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July 22, 2018
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Court Orders Unum Doctor to Reveal How Much He Was Paid for His Opinion
Court Orders Unum Doctor to Reveal How Much He Was Paid for His Opinion
New Orleans, LA Unum Group has come under scrutiny yet again for alleged deceptive practices. This time the insurance giant has lost a battle in the Wittmann v. Unum Life Insurance Co. litigation. Plaintiff attorney Anne Wittmann, who alleges that she was wrongfully denied disability benefits, subpoenaed financial records from James H. Bress, M.D., who Unum hired to review her claim. Unum Group fought back, by moving to quash the subpoena. On July 11, 2018, a Federal District Judge in Louisiana Ordered that the records be turned over so Plaintiffs can ascertain whether his opinion was swayed by a financial dependence on the insurance carrier.

Intel to Shell Out $5M to Settle California Unpaid Wages Lawsuit
Intel to Shell Out $5M to Settle California Unpaid Wages Lawsuit
Santa Clara, CA Plaintiff Medina Asalati was formerly employed by Intel Corp. as an administrative assistant. She lead a class of over 3,000 hourly Intel employees including admins, clerical workers, janitors, and logistical support specialists in a class action lawsuit that has been resolved for millions of dollars. Intel denies any wrongdoing in the settlement agreement, but the Plaintiffs allege that they were expected to work extremely long hours in a demanding environment without meal and rest breaks. The relatively large $5 million award could make big waves in California Unpaid Wages lawsuit news if and when it is officially approved by the court.

California Labor Commissioner’s Office fined general contractor and sub-contractor for wage theft violations
California Labor Commissioner’s Office fined general contractor and sub-contractor for wage theft violations
Long Beach, CA After a lengthy investigation into wage theft of Champion Construction Inc., a contractor hired by San Diego general contractor TB Penick, the California Labor Commissioner’s Office found that Champion cheated 103 workers by maintaining false payroll records over a six-month period. Both TB Penick and Champion were held responsible under California labor law and state labor regulators secured over $1.1 million in back wages for the workers.

Surveillance Sinks Liberty Mutual Long Term Denied Disability Lawsuits
Surveillance Sinks Liberty Mutual Long Term Denied Disability Lawsuits
Boston, MA Fifty minutes and fifty-eight seconds of video showed Donna Cusson walking her dog, shopping, and eating in a restaurant. That was enough to doom her long term denied disability lawsuit against Liberty Mutual. It is an eight-year old case, so some things have changed -- not the fact of surveillance in LTD cases, though. And now it’s not just video tape that LTD claimants have to worry about.

Supreme Court Restricts Class Action Availability for Wage Theft Violations
Supreme Court Restricts Class Action Availability for Wage Theft Violations
Washington, DC “Congratulations! Welcome to FillInTheBlank Company! Sign here and ask for Ms. Someone when you come tomorrow.” By the time the intake interview is over, many workers have already signed away their rights to bring class action wage theft lawsuits under federal and California labor law.

Aon Hewitt Named (again) in Double-Dealing Retirement Plan Lawsuit
Aon Hewitt Named (again) in Double-Dealing Retirement Plan Lawsuit
Charlotte, NC In April 2018, Benjamin Reetz filed a class action ERISA lawsuit on behalf of himself and other participants in the Lowe’s 401(k) Plan. The lawsuit claims that Aon Hewitt, the plan’s investment advisor, lined its pockets by recommending one of its own poorly performing investment funds. Lowe’s then fell down on the job by failing to catch what Aon Hewitt was doing. Wait, you think, didn’t I read this before, but was it about Home Depot or maybe Invesco?

Cheesecake Factory Found Liable for $4.57 Million Wage Theft
Cheesecake Factory Found Liable for $4.57 Million Wage Theft
San Diego, CA The California Labor Commissioner’s Office has found that The Cheesecake Factory and its janitorial contractor, Americlean Janitorial Services Corp., engaged in wage theft, withholding millions of dollars that were lawfully earned under California prevailing wage law. Americlean subcontracted the night cleaning work to another company, Magic Touch. It is not uncommon for California employers to rely on multiple layers of contractors and fluid entities to perpetrate wage theft, particularly in all-cash enterprises like the janitorial industry. However, Cheesecake Factory and Americlean have been found equally liable for the workplace violations of subcontractor Magic Touch under California Assembly Bill 1897, which holds employers liable for the violations of their contractors.

“More and More Women Coming Forward,” says Attorney for USC Sex Abuse Plaintiffs
“More and More Women Coming Forward,” says Attorney for USC Sex Abuse Plaintiffs
“We have filed a sexual abuse lawsuit on behalf of several women who were examined by Dr. George Tyndall, the former gynecologist at the University of Southern California,” says attorney Susan Owen, with the law firm of Owen, Patterson and Owen, LLP. “They were young women when they saw this sexual predator for their first gynecological exam, and they had no idea of what to expect,” says Owen. ”USC was on notice of Dr. Tyndall’s misconduct long before these women came forward, yet the University chose to do nothing.”

MetLife Refuses to Disclose Background Claim Processing Principles
MetLife Refuses to Disclose Background Claim Processing Principles
On April, 20, 2018, the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida denied a Metropolitan Life benefit claimant the right to see the company’s internal claim processing guidelines. Perera v. Metropolitan Life Insurance Company actually relates to death benefits, but it relies heavily on an earlier decision in a long term denied disability lawsuit against MetLife.

California Labor Law Violation Fired at Fidelity Stands, Typo Goes
California Labor Law Violation Fired at Fidelity Stands, Typo Goes
Fidelity Investments tried to wangle out of a proposed class action lawsuit alleging California labor law violations by saying the plaintiff’s employment agreement contained a "typo" and she wasn’t in fact an employee. But Fidelity’s excuse appears to have back-fired. “It is astounding how clearly [Fidelity] held itself out as plaintiff’s employer,” wrote California federal judge William Aslup, and he denied their motion to dismiss.

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