A federal court jury today concluded that Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Companybreached its contractual obligation to pay disability benefits to a Tacoma dentist, Dr. Richard Koch, who had paid premiums for more than 14 years. Although Northwestern Mutual admitted that Dr. Koch was totally disabled from his profession due to a condition that affects vision known as bilateral vestibular hypofunction, the company refused to pay Dr. Koch disability benefits alleging that he had failed to disclose an unrelated health condition in his application in 1994. The jury rejected Northwestern Mutual’s contentions, finding that the company had not proven it was entitled to rescind Dr. Koch’s policy and further finding that the company had breached the contract of insurance.
As a result of the jury’s verdict Northwestern Mutual is obligated to reinstate Dr. Koch’s benefits and may be required to pay his attorney fees and court costs.
Dr. Koch was represented by Ken Friedman of Friedman | Rubin.