Disabled Logger Prevails

Our client had worked for many years as a logger. To protect his family from lost income, he bought insurance that would provide compensation if he became disabled from work. Over the years, his spine wore down, requiring several spine operations. Eventually, he became disabled and could no longer work.

Despite paying his premiums for many years with the expectation of insurance coverage under these facts, when the logger claimed payment under his disability policy, he was denied by the insurance company. The insurer based its denial on a complicated definition of “disability” in its policy.

The logger sought Bakke Norman’s assistance to challenge the insurance company’s denial of coverage. The arbitration provisions of the policy were triggered. We contested the insurance company’s refusal to pay anything under the policy. The arbitrators agreed with our arguments and concluded that the logger was totally disabled under the insurance policy’s definition. The arbitrator’s ruling allowed the logger to receive the full amount owing under the insurance policy, the benefit for which he paid premiums for years.