Doctor Says Insurer's Video of Disabled Man Eating Taco Chip 'Means Nothing'

Cicala said the type of activity shown on The Hartford's videotape isn't relevant in making a determination about his patient's fitness for work.

"Eating a taco means nothing," Cicala said. "We know he can eat. His hands work. … If there's a job eating tacos, he might be able to do that. I don't know of such employment."

Company Says Claim Handled 'Fairly'

Whitten's attorney, Alicia Paulino Grisham, said The Hartford uses the videotape surveillance to intimidate claimants into giving up and not pursuing their claims.

"They suggest fraud and it scares claimants," she said.

The Hartford denies that claim. The company sent ABC News a statement saying the company's "overarching mission has always been to ensure people with disabilities receive the benefits to which they are entitled," and that it handled Whitten's claim fairly.

The company said it uses surveillance to prevent fraud, and that it's used in less than 5 percent of claims. It added that out of those 5 percent, the surveillance, along with other factors, ends in the cutting off of clients' disability insurance 30 percent of the time.

But ABC News has learned there have been over a dozen cases where federal courts ruled The Hartford improperly overemphasized their surveillance video. The Hartford said these cases don't "fairly or accurately represent The Hartford's strong record of paying disability claims or our limited use of surveillance to review and validate claims."

To see some examples of such cases, click here, here or here.

Payments Are Reinstated

In January 2009, Whitten and his attorney lost their appeal to The Hartford, and were preparing to go to court.

But on Oct. 8, 2009, eight days after "Good Morning America" called the company to inquire about Whitten's case, The Hartford reinstated his $2,100-per-month payments and sent him a check for $45,675.57 to cover past benefits.

The company said it reinstated Whitten's benefits after his lawyer provided new information.

Click here to read the entire statement from The Hartford.

Jack Whitten's lawyer says she's now looking into a class action lawsuit against The Hartford for unfairly targeting disabled people for surveillance in an effort to cut off their benefits.

Whitten and his family are relieved. Getting back his disability insurance is a huge weight off the family's shoulders.

The family has been able to start paying off bills that had become seriously past due.

The Whittens say now they can put their two sons through college and enjoy their baby grandson.

Click here to send Cuomo your case.

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