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Sheppard Mullin Secures Win for Unum Group and Provident Life & Accident Insurance Company


After almost 4-weeks at trial in Santa Clara Superior Court, Sheppard Mullin secured a victory for Unum Group and Provident Life & Accident Insurance Company. After one day of deliberations, the jury returned a unanimous verdict (12-0) in favor of the Defendants on all claims. The Plaintiff was represented by Terry Coleman of Pillsbury & Coleman, LLP

Background on the Case

Plaintiff Nicolas Kelpe asserted claims against Unum Group and Provident Life & Accident Insurance Company for breach of contract, bad faith and punitive damages arising out of the denial of his disability claim. Kelpe claimed that he was totally disabled as a result of a heart attack he suffered in August 2014. At the time of the heart attack, the plaintiff was a partner at Ernst & Young. He contended that following his heart attack, he continued to experience severe chest pain and fatigue, which was typically triggered by stress and precluded him from performing his job requirements.  At trial, Kelpe sought approximately $4.5 million in compensatory damages and $66 million in punitive damages. He argued that the Defendants failed to conduct a thorough investigation, ignored information that was supportive of his claim and denied his claim due to company-wide claim denial targets and goals.

The Sheppard Mullin team was led by partner Theona Zhordania.


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