NU Online News Service, Dec. 16, 2004, 9:27 a.m. EST

A Seattle lawyer is trying to organize a class-action lawsuit against a Hartford insurer over the insurer’s handling of disability claims.[@@]

The lawyer, Fred Langer, a partner at Nelson Tyler Langer P.L.L.C., has filed a suit in the U.S. District Court in Seattle that accuses Aetna Life Insurance Company of systematically denying and terminating valid short-term and long-term disability claims submitted by employees of The Boeing Company, Seattle, since 1998.

The suit accuses Aetna Life, a unit of Aetna Inc., Hartford, of ignoring Social Security disability awards and favoring the assessments of its own claims reviewers over those of the employees’ treating physicians.

The named plaintiff, Bonnie Biery, says she suffers from chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia.