Dodgson v. Great West Life Assurance Co. et al., 2014 ONSC 389 (CanLII)
In this case Dodgson v. Great West Live Assurance Co. et al., Dodgson (the insured) won substantial damages from Great West Life Assurance Co. et. al. (the insurer or GWL).
Dodgson worked as a Senior Personal Banking Officer at The Bank of Nova Scotia who provided disability insurance managed by GWL. Just before Christmas in 2008, a woman at the bank whom Dodgson considered a mentor died. This caused her to have psychological issues and she sought medical treatment from a doctor. In 2008 Dodgson’s good friend died in a motor vehicle accident and another friend committed suicide, furthering Dodgson’s mental distress and reliance on medical treatment. She developed several mental disorders including agoraphobia. After several requests for an extended leave of absence, the Bank terminated her employment on August 31st, 2009. Previous to that, at the end of May, her claim for disability benefits was rejected. GWL rejected her claim of disability benefits stating that despite many reports from Dodgson’s doctors, that her diagnosis did not fit the policy requirements and definitions.
Dodgson commenced action against GWL for denial of benefits in 2014.
After reviewing the evidence, the Judge ruled that the medical evidence showed that Dodgson was disabled by her mental disorders and unable to work. Further, the Judge ruled that the medical evidence did fit GWL’s requirements and definitions of disability.
As a result, the court awarded Dodgson full disability payments retroactively and going forward.
If you find yourself disabled due to mental health issues, be sure to seek assistance from your physicians who will be able to document your medical concerns, and seek assistance from an attorney.
Should you find yourself in a similar position to Dodgson wherein your benefits company is denying your claim, contact a disability insurance lawyer to assist you in recovering money you rightfully deserve.