Davis v Aetna Life Ins. Co., 2017
In Davis v. Aetna Life Ins. Co., the plaintiff’s social media evidence cast doubts on her alleged health condition in a long-term disability (LTD) dispute.
The plaintiff was diagnosed with a health condition which she claimed had affected her physical activity and work capabilities. Consequently, she filed a claim for LTD.
In its investigation, the defendant insurer conducted a thorough review of both the plaintiff and her husband’s social media accounts. While there was minimal information on the plaintiff’s accounts, her husband’s social media accounts revealed that the plaintiff returned to school, participated in various errands, went on outings, and travelled to multiple tourist sites despite claiming to have been suffering from fatigue, morning sickness, inflammation, and joint pain. Although the plaintiff argued that social media evidence does not always accurately capture a full picture of a person’s disabilities and only depicted her on “good days”, the court found the evidence damaging and held that the plaintiff did not qualify for LTD.
This case demonstrates that social media evidence which significantly conflicts with an insured’s alleged injuries and/or impairments will significantly impact their claim for LTD. Notably, even if a person claiming LTD does not have any posts on social media, insurer’s will dig into the social media accounts of the person’s family and friends to see whether they can find any photos or posts that can cast doubt on the person’s claims.
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