I was employed by the Omaha SteakHouse in Phoenix AZ., owned by HSC Hospitality in Dallas TX. J Peter GRACE III, the son of the former CEO of WR GRACE INC, owned HSC. These people have plenty of money.
When I became unable to work last November I notified my employer and eventually they provided me with disability insurance forms to fill out and return for processing. At the same time the Human resources Director told me that my life insurance policy had an Accelerated Benefits clause that I probably could take advantage of since I have a terminal illness. This benefit would pay me about $110,000.00. No consolation for a very scary and limited future, but some financial comfort, none the less. I returned the disability forms and waited for some response. In January 2000 Sun Life notified me that my claim was denied because the policy had been canceled for lack of payment. This same policy had the life insurance tied with it. HSC had taken deductions from my paycheck for insurance, not paid the premiums, and now I have no insurance.
I have contacted the state Dept. of Insurance in Texas and Arizona (my employers Corp. office is in Dallas and I live and worked in Phoenix). Believe it or not they do not consider this fraud and have closed my complaints. The US Dept. of Labor has taken some interest in my case, but as described above, the laws at this time restrict them in what they can do. At times they had seemed very enthusiastic about the possibility that I may recover my accelerated benefits, but lately they have become less than optimistic, to say the least.
In August HSC filed for bankruptcy. I now have no COBRA, disability or life insurance and am left with Social Security Disability Income. (Last year my income was $48,000.00 now $11,172.00!) This is not what I expected or paid for. I now have to use food stamps, and government funded medical and prescription services. I am trying to stay in my home, but don't know how long I can continue to do so. I do not have any disability or life insurance, not to mention Accelerated Benefits.
Peter grace refuses to take any responsibility, yet pays lawyers a lot of money to avoid paying me what I am due. I will probably be dead before this is settled in the courts.
4401 N. 40th St. #1
Phoenix, AZ 85018