In the News

Ray Bourhis has been featured as expert consultant on Long Term Disability insurance issues in major publications, on radio talk shows and in seminars around the nation.

California Insurance Commissioner John Garamendi issues $8 million fine.

“State Fines Insurer, Orders Reform in Disability Cases”

By Peter G. Gosselin
Los Angeles Times
California insurance regulators today will announce that they are fining the nation’s largest disability insurer…

“State fines big insurer $8 million / UnumProvident was accused of trying to avoid disability payouts”

San Francisco Chronicle

“Insurer deal is industry changer / Settlement sets new standards for disability claims”

San Francisco Chronicle

“When Disaster Strikes, will your insurer come through for you?”

San Francisco Chronicle Op Ed

“The Safety Net She Believed In Was Pulled Out When She Fell”

By Peter G. Gosselin
Los Angeles Times

“Bourhis & Wolfson Urge 47 State Insurance Commissioners to Reject the UnumProvident Multistate Settlement Agreement Crafted by New York Attorney General and Gubernatorial Candidate Eliot Spitzer”

PR Newswire

“She’s Rich but Can’t Feed the Children”

by Alex Brown
The Examiner
Joan Hangarter was awarded $7.6 million by a federal jury in San Francisco on Monday. And she’ll apply for $230 in food stamps later this week.

“Disability Claim Denied!”

Insurer is under fire for its roster of rejections
Business Week

“When disaster strikes, will your insurer come through for you?”

By Ray Bourhis
San Francisco Chronicle

“Disability in Dispute”

The pain shot from court reporter Susan McGregor’s fingertips to her shoulder muscles. Years of rapid fire stenotyping were taking their toll as she recovered every word spoken in a Francisco courtroom.

“The Erisa Trap: When Employees Can’t Win”

Workers Find Limited Rights To Sue Over Insurance Claims; Pension Act `Turned on Its Head’
The Wall Street Journal via Dow Jones
In 1997, when Donya Anderson decided to deduct $7.36 a month from her paycheck to pay for disability-income insurance, she thought it was worth it for peace of mind.

“State Insurance Watchdog Survives Agency Assault – Insurance Watchdog Hounded by Critics”

Wall Street Journal
A quarter-century ago, as he was contemplating a law practice that focused on suing insurance companies for mishandling claims, freshly minted attorney Ray Bourhis had a moment of doubt: Would there really be enough business to make a living?

“Insurer is Faulted for Claim Cutting”

Los Angeles Times
Lawyers say the insurer has been exploiting a federal law to deny disability benefits.

“Nasty Business”

A major insurer is defending itself against suits by angry workers whose benefits were terminated or reject. Plaintiffs’ attorneys argue that the terminations of benefits are designed to boost company profits. At first, the plaintiffs were just individual policyholders. But now, lawyers are bringing the fight to employers whose workers are covered by the insurer’s group policies.

“Did Insurer Cheat Disabled Clients?”

60 Minutes
CBS Report
If you’re one of the 50 million Americans who has money deducted from his or her paycheck to pay for disability insurance, or if you’ve purchased a disability policy on your own, you may think you’re covered if you’re injured or too sick to work. But don’t be too sure. Ed Bradley reports.

“What if your disability benefits were suddenly cut off?”

A Dateline
NBC Investigation
After a disabling accident left John Montano paralyzed and unable to work or support his family, he relied on disability insurance he held through the nation’s largest insurance provider to support his family. After 2 years he unexpectedly received notice that his benefits were being terminated…
Sources tell Dateline that what happened to John Montano may have been part of something much larger. A dateline investigation into whether the largest disability carrier in the United States — Unum provident — launched a company-wide effort to cut costs aggressively, and in the process, unfairly denied benefits, selling out people it promised to protect.
The results of this Dateline report are shocking.

“Hundreds sue largest disability insurer”

Julie Appleby
USA Today
Joan Hangarter bought a disability policy in 1990 to protect her should she ever fall seriously ill. Yet, after becoming disabled, she and her children ended up on welfare when her insurer cut off her benefits.

“Memo Highlights Intent To Use Law to Save Money”

Wall Street Journal
According to the Daily Journal, California’s Legal Newspaper:
No courthouse is big enough to hold San Francisco lawyer Ray Bourhis’ crusade against the insurance industry.

“Insurer Fires Top Executive”

By Teresa M. Walker
Associated Press Writer

“Crusading lawyers lead charge against insurer”

Associated Press
SAN FRANCISCO – Disability insurers have tangled with plenty of pesky lawyers in the last five years. Few, if any, have been as tenacious – or effective – as Ray Bourhis.
In the past two years, the San Francisco law firm has won a pair of seven-figure judgments against insurers and recently convinced a federal judge that the company’s business practices broke California laws.

“Former Policyholder Takes Insurer to Task”

Chiropractor’s disability benefits were cut off by UnumProvident
By Lisa Girion
Times Staff Writer
On the eve of the birth of her first child 12 years ago, Joan Hangarter bought an insurance policy that would pay her a monthly benefit if a disability ever prevented her from working as a chiropractor.
When a painful joint condition forced her to quit her $100,000-a-year practice in 1997, she began collecting her $8,100-a-month disability benefit. But after 18 months, her insurance company…canceled her payments, declaring that she was no longer disabled.

“Insurer’s Tactics Rebuked”

By Lisa Girion
Times Staff Writer
The nation’s largest disability insurance firm is facing a flurry of lawsuits in California and across the country from policyholders who contend the insurer cheated them out of their disability payments in an aggressive campaign to boost profit.

“SF Attorneys Say ‘Heads Should Roll At Highest Levels'”

Ray Bourhis, the San Francisco attorney who won a major judgment and injunction against [ ] a Chattanooga-based firm “should stop blaming lawyers” and that some of its top executives need to be fired.

“Federal judge orders Insurer to clean up practices”

A federal judge has ordered…

“Federal Judge Issues Injunction Against Disability Insurance Giant”

Federal Judge James Larson has ruled insurer liable for violating California Business and Professions Code Sec. 17200 (Unfair Business Practices).
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