Phil Tatlow obtains policy limits of Life and Disability Insurance Policy for another Anheuser Busch Worker against Great West Insurance Company
Over ten years after he retired, G.S. contacted Mr. Tatlow to discuss his claim. Mr. Tatlow submitted the life insurance buy-out claim and argued that Anheuser Busch and Great West Insurance Company had breached its' fiduciary duty to G.S. and that because of this, the three year limitation to make such a claim, under the contract did not apply. Initially, Anheuser Busch and Great West refused to consider the claim arguing they met all obligations to G.S. After Mr. Tatlow represented 3 or 4 more workers with the same claims against Anheuser Busch and Great West, he filed complaints against Great West with the Department of Insurance for violating state insurance regulations. Eventually, Great West Insurance Company agreed to review the claim of G.S. and waive the three year time period to make a claim. After receipt of Mr. G.S's medical records and medical consultant's reports, Great West agreed that G.S. was permenently and totally disabled and paid him the policy limits of his life insurance policy.
This case is significant because it represents the principal that a plan administrator and insurance company owe the plan participants a fiduciary duty and a duty of loyatly. A fiduciary and plan administrator can not withhold valuable information from the plan participants and hold the participants to strict time periods and requirement of the plan if it has concealed the time limits to apply for the benefits or has withheld information on how to apply for the benefits or if it has withheld the existence of the plan itself from the plan participants/workers.