Javery v. Lucent Tech., Inc. Long-Term Disability Plan, No. 12-3834 (6th Cir. 2014)Annotate this Case
Javery began working for Lucent as a software engineer in 1998 and participated in Lucent’s Employee Retirement Income Security Act, 29 U.S.C. 1001, qualified disability plan, administered by CIGNA. In November 2002, he reported back pain. His family doctor, Dr. Dorado, prescribed medicine and testing, and recommended some time off work. In January 2003, after Lucent transferred him from Ohio to Illinois, Javery sought treatment from another physician, Seymour. The pain worsened. In May 2005, Javery stopped working on Dr. Seymour’s advice. Lucent approved and paid short term disability benefits from until those benefits expired in November 2005. Lucent notified CIGNA that it believed Javery might be eligible for long term benefits. Javery applied, submitting extensive medical evidence of his pain and resulting cognitive impairment and of his successful application for Social Security disability benefits, but the claim was denied. In addition to claiming that Javery had not shown that he was “disabled” as that term is defined in the Plan, CIGNA claimed that Javery should be judicially estopped from pursuing his ERISA claim because Javery failed to disclose the claim in his Chapter 13 personal bankruptcy action. The district court upheld the denial. The Sixth Circuit reversed.