EDUCATION

University of Pittsburgh School of Law
J.D., magna cum laude, 1994

Franklin & Marshall College
B.A., English, magna cum laude, 1991
Phi Beta Kappa

ADMISSIONS

Florida

Pennsylvania

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit

U.S. District Courts for the Northern, Middle, and Southern Districts of Florida

U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas

Wendy Furman concentrates her litigation practice in the areas of life, health and disability insurance, ERISA, commercial, and employment litigation.

Ms. Furman’s insurance practice includes analyzing and litigating coverage matters for individual and group life, health and disability insurance, ERISA, and general liability.

Ms. Furman has extensive experience in ERISA, disability and stranger-owned life insurance litigation and other complex life insurance litigation and alternative dispute resolution. She has written on issues relating to ERISA and insurance litigation. Ms. Furman has spoken on ERISA issues at the Annual Meeting of the Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section of the American Bar Association, on disability insurance issues at the American Conference Institute’s Seminar “Litigating Disability Insurance Claims,” and on life insurance matters at the Defense Research Institute’s Life, Health, Disability and ERISA seminar. She has trial and appellate experience in federal and state courts and is an AV-rated attorney.

Ms. Furman is a 1994 graduate, magna cum laude, of the University of Pittsburgh School of Law and received her bachelor’s degree, magna cum laude, from Franklin & Marshall College. In Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Upon graduation from law school, she worked in the Pittsburgh office of a major international law firm, acting as outside litigation counsel to Alcoa. After moving to Florida in 1996, Ms. Furman worked in the Boca Raton office of another major international law firm. In 2002, she and two other female attorneys founded a boutique firm which merged with McDowell Hetherington in late 2016. From early in her legal career, Ms. Furman has maintained a steady and growing clientele which she continues to serve through today. Ms. Furman is a member of the Florida and Pennsylvania Bars and is admitted to practice in the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, and the United States District Courts for the Southern, Middle, and Northern Districts of Florida and the Northern District of Texas. She is a member of the Life, Health, Disability and ERISA Committee of the Defense Research Institute and has served on its Marketing Committee.

In her spare time, Wendy enjoys spending time with her husband and their children, reading, and attending theater and swim events with her family.

EDUCATION

University of Pittsburgh School of Law
J.D., magna cum laude, 1994

Franklin & Marshall College
B.A., English, magna cum laude, 1991
Phi Beta Kappa

ADMISSIONS

Florida

Pennsylvania

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit

U.S. District Courts for the Northern, Middle, and Southern Districts of Florida

U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas

  • In case involving denial of accidental death benefits under an individual policy, United of Omaha prevailed on summary judgment by establishing the loss was not a covered accident after successfully fending off a motion to remand and successfully moving to compel discovery from Plaintiff and to strike Plaintiff’s expert. Estate of Hugh Singleton v. United of Omaha, Case No. 6:21-cv-01077 (MD FL 2022).
  • Defense of denial of disability benefits involving mental illness limitation. Harmon v. Standard Insurance Company, 2020 WL 13602835 (MD FL 2020).
  • Successful application of policy’s pre-existing condition limitation to preclude recovery of long-term disability benefits. Insurer prevailed on summary judgment. Williams, M.D. v. United of Omaha, Case no. 8:20-cv-1001 (MD FL 2021).
  • After defending a challenge to Lincoln National’s discretionary review authority, the Court upheld Lincoln National’s decision denying disability benefits at an earlier date as sought by Plaintiff to increase both the period of benefits and the amount of the benefits at issue due to a higher salary. Montgomery v. Lincoln National Life Insurance Company, Case No. 4:20-CV-00192 (ND FL 2021).
  • Upholding ERISA denial of life insurance benefits in case involving a failure to provide evidence of insurability to support coverage. Alderman v. Prudential Insurance Company and Standard Insurance Company, 2007 WL 9754377; Aff’d 270 Fed. Appx. 993 (11th Cir. Fla. 2008).
  • Defended attack against determination as to pre-disability earnings and benefit calculations in a disability benefit dispute. Mordecai v. Standard Insurance Company, 2005 WL 2249896 (11th Cir. Fla. 2005).
  • Multiple summary judgment wins defending clients’ ERISA benefit decisions under arbitrary and capricious standard of review or de novo standard, including several involving bench or jury trials. See Holt, Kennedy, Domenzain dockets.
  • Significant involvement in litigation related to STOLI issues including multiple cases before the Eleventh Circuit.
  • Defense of life insurers in cases involving agents, coverage disputes, beneficiary disputes and challenges to products including lapses and rescissions. Anton v. Phoenix Life Ins. Co., 2018 WL 5255057, involved successful defense of a policy lapse for failure to fund policy account.
  • Order of the Coif, University of Pittsburgh School of Law
  • Executive Editor, University of Pittsburgh Law Review
  • Phi Beta Kappa, Franklin & Marshall College
  • AV rated 10+ years
  • Avvo Top Rated Lawyer – 2024
  • Speaker – Recovering Attorney’s Fees in Interpleader Cases, DRI’s Life, Health, Disability & ERISA Conference
  • Speaker – Psychiatric Expert Witness Testimony in Disability Cases – Litigating Disability Claims Seminar by American Conference Institute
  • Defense Research Institute
  • Federal Bar Association, Broward Chapter