Settlement for Stockton Dentist in Disability Insurance Action

Pillsbury & Coleman partner Terry Coleman and his team obtained a confidential settlement for Plaintiff Dr. Maywell Inong, DDS, in a lawsuit filed against Protective Life Insurance Company.  Plaintiff became totally disabled from her occupation as a dentist as a result of bilateral thoracic outlet syndrome, which caused pain and weakness in her hands, arms, neck, shoulder, and head.  After Protective denied Plaintiff’s claim for total disability benefits, Plaintiff filed suit for breach of contract and bad faith in San Francisco County Superior Court.  The case was removed to the Northern District of California, with Judge William Alsup presiding.

Pillsbury & Coleman scored a significant win early in the discovery process that helped lay the groundwork for settlement.  For the entire month of March, Protective refused to provide any dates on which its witnesses would be available for deposition before the parties’ court-ordered April 24, 2024 mediation date.  At the end of March, Protective for the first time made the absurd claim that none of its witnesses would be available for the entire month of April.  Plaintiff raised Protective’s stonewalling with the Court, and Judge Alsup ordered Protective to produce its key 30(b)(6) witness before the April 24 mediation, under pain of default judgment.  Protective was ultimately required to produce the witness to sit for a deposition at Pillsbury & Coleman’s office.  Shortly after Plaintiff took the court-ordered deposition, the case settled.