The response to UNUM's letter of 10/21/98

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From: Judy Morris, MD
To: Ann Courtney Counsel UNUM Corporation
2211 Congress St. Portland, ME 04122 October 26, 1998

Dear Ms. Courtney,

I received your letter of October 21, 1998 in which you stated that you
wanted to meet with me on behalf of UNUM.  I will arrange to have a room
available at the Monson Library for November 25, 1998. Would you prefer
morning or afternoon?

I'm afraid you are still misinformed about the nature of my dispute with
UNUM.  The issue is not whether I am disabled or not.  The issue is the
means, methods and tactics in which UNUM engaged during the handling of
my claims and the claims of thousands of other patients, particularly
those with CFS/FM and Chronic Pain Conditions.  The issue is the fact
that during the handling of my claim, UNUM set about looking for reasons
to deny my claims in violation of the laws of the State of Massachusetts
and common law doctrines. The issue is about the fact that UNUM, your
adjusters, doctors, and investigators engaged in intentional deceptions
and outright lies to prejudice my claims file and deny my claim.  The
issue is that UNUM has a corporate policy to misdiagnose people with
mental illnesses even if it isn't true.  The issue is lowballing,
stonewalling, bouncing me from one person to the next in an attempt to
confuse me, inappropriate and clearly excessive use of poorly trained
private investigators.  The issue is collusion with the Department of
Insurance and the Insurance Fraud Bureau in Massachusetts. The issue is
that I was never told up to this day how it would be possible for me to
prove to UNUM that my condition is one which disables me from being able
to be an Emergency Room physician, or other strenuous occupations, on
any kind of a regular basis where I could hope to make 80% of more of my
former salary, as my policies both stipulate.

I hope you are planning to address these issues at this meeting. By the
time we meet you will have had time to read the lawsuit that was
coincidentally filed by me on the day before you wrote your letter to

I would just like to remind you of the exact wording of my insurance

Individual policy: "We will pay the Monthly Benefit Amount in any month
after the insured has satisfied the Elimination Period that:

1.  the Insured is totally disabled or the Insured is residually
disabled and experiences at least a 20% loss of net income in his
regular occupation as a result of a present injury or sickness."

Group policy: "'Disability' and 'disabled' mean that because of injury
or sickness:

1. you cannot perform each of the material duties of your regular
occupation; or

2. you, while unable to perform all of the material duties of your
regular occupation on a full-time basis, are:

a.  performing at least one of the material duties of your regular
occupation or another occupation on a part-time basis; and

b.  earning currently at least 20% less per month than your indexed
pre-disability earnings due to that same sickness or injury.

Note: For physicians: 'regular occupation' means that specialty in the
practice of medicine which you were practicing just prior to the date
the disability started.'"

I have the opinions of three licensed, reputable doctors who have
examined me, the guidelines of the National Institutes of Health and
other CFS specialists and researchers, and my own extensive and well
documented history of problems which indicates that in all likelihood,
my condition would deteriorate to levels dangerous to both my own health
and the health of my patients if I returned to this line of work on a
regular basis.

Dr. Michael Sharpe agreed with me, when I spoke with him at the AACFS
Conference this month, that even his subjects who improved with
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, while they may have been able to return to
"work" (as opposed to being incapacitated) were usually not able to
return to their previous occupations.

I will also be videotaping the proceedings for a documentary I plan to
make on the legal process.  You should certainly have no objections to
this since you and UNUM continue to insist that you have done nothing
wrong and are treating me and your other claimants honestly and fairly.
I will also insist that I be allowed to tape record any telephone
conversations I have with you or any other defendants from UNUM, or I
will refuse to speak with you on the telephone.

Other than the reasonable request that I be allowed to have adequate
documentation of any meetings or conversations, I am perfectly willing
to discuss UNUM's problems with you or anyone else.

Please let me know if there are any changes as soon as possible. I would
also like to suggest that you include other people in your discussions
of my file.  I do not think it is appropriate in a case of this
magnitude to have only one lawyer working on a file.  This circumstance
has the unfortunate consequence of resulting in last minute
cancellations of meetings and conferences should you get suddenly sick
or not be able to find a babysitter for your children.  I'm sure an
organization the size of UNUM should be able to have contingent
arrangements so that scheduled meetings such as this can take place and
not be prone to last minute cancellations.

Yours truly,

Judy Morris, MD

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Created: October 25, 1998
Last Updated: May 28, 2000