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S Dakota Jury Finds CUNA Guilty of Bad Faith – Awards $6.2 Million to Estate

A jury in Rapid City awarded $6.2 million to the estate of the late Teri Powell, a former Spanish teacher who died of cancer in 2007. The jury, in U.S. District Court, sided with Powell in a dispute over disability insurance.

In 2001, while she was teaching at Rapid City Stevens High School, Powell got a home equity loan and bought disability insurance from CUNA Mutual Insurance Society. Her health got worse over the next year, but she maintained her disability insurance coverage.

When she was diagnosed with cancer in 2005, Powell applied for benefits from CUNA from far back as 2002, when she was forced to stop working full time.

CUNA had denied Powell’s claim and said she was capable of working even after her cancer diagnosis.

Clearly, the jury found otherwise.