A law firm partner who left private practice to work for the West Virginia Attorney General’s office after suffering from kidney problems lost his lawsuit seeking benefits under his prior firm’s disability plan.

Vaughn Sizemore argued he was still entitled to disability benefits from Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Co. because the government job he accepted after being approved for benefits paid him less than 80 percent of his prior salary as a partner at Bailey & Wyant PLLC.

Chief Judge Thomas E. Johnston of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia rejected Sizemore’s lawsuit in a June 26 order.

Northwestern reasonably concluded that Sizemore’s reduction in income was driven by his job change and not by a medically documented impairment that rendered him unable to work, Johnston said.

Sizemore represented himself. Smith Von Schleicher & Associates and MacCorkle Lavender Casey & Sweeney represented the insurer.

The case is Sizemore v. Northwestern Mut. Life Ins. Co., 2019 BL 237086, S.D. W.Va., No. 2:17-cv-00789, 6/26/19.