Mealey's Disability Insurance

  • April 28, 2021

    Panel Affirms Finding That Disability Claimant Failed To Prove Disability

    SAN FRANCISCO — The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on April 27 affirmed a district court’s finding that a disability claimant failed to prove that he was disabled from his own occupation as a result of sickness or injury according to the plan’s terms and pursuant to a de novo standard of review.

  • April 26, 2021

    High Court Refuses To Review Choice-Of-Law Ruling In Disability Suit

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Supreme Court on April 26 denied a disability claimant’s petition for a writ of certiorari, refusing to review the 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals’ ruling on a disability plan’s choice-of-law provision.

  • April 23, 2021

    Insured’s Contract Claim In Bad Faith Suit Dismissed As Vague, Conclusory

    HOUSTON — A federal judge in Texas on April 8 dismissed an insured’s claims against his long-term disability insurer stemming from the insurer’s denial of benefits, ruling that the insured failed to sufficiently plead the necessary elements of his breach of contract claim.

  • April 23, 2021

    Substantial Evidence Supports Disability Insurer’s Termination Of LTD Benefits

    BROOKLYN, N.Y. — A New York federal judge on April 21 granted a disability insurer’s motion for judgment on the administrative record after determining that the insurer’s finding that the claimant was not disabled from performing the duties of any reasonable occupation is supported by substantial evidence in the administrative record.

  • April 23, 2021

    Disability Suit Remanded; Claims Not Preempted By ERISA, Judge Says

    LOS ANGELES — A California federal judge on April 20 remanded a disability benefits suit filed by residents of Kosovo who performed work for a United States-based company in Afghanistan after determining that the Employee Retirement Income Security Act does not preempt the plaintiffs’ claims because the plaintiffs’ complaint does not present a permissible domestic application of ERISA.

  • April 22, 2021

    Disability Insurer Failed To Show Preexisting Condition Exclusion Barred Benefits

    SEATTLE — A Washington federal judge on April 21 granted a disability claimant’s motion for summary judgment after determining that the insurer failed to prove that the claimant’s hip injury was caused by a prior injury and, therefore, barred by the policy’s preexisting condition exclusion.

  • April 21, 2021

    Panel Says No Benefits Owed For Disability Claimant’s Preexisting Depression

    CINCINNATI — The Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on April 19 affirmed a district court’s ruling that a disability insurer owes no long-term disability (LTD) benefits to a claimant because the plan’s preexisting condition limitation clearly bars coverage for the claimant’s disability that was caused by her preexisting conditions of depression and anxiety.

  • April 20, 2021

    Award Of Disability Benefits Is Appropriate Remedy, Federal Judge Determines

    LOS ANGELES — A California federal judge on April 15 awarded a disability claimant past and future long-term disability (LTD) benefits after determining that an award of benefits, rather than remand to the plan administrator, is the appropriate remedy.

  • April 19, 2021

    Panel Affirms Finding That Denial Of NFL Disability Benefits Was Not Unreasonable

    NEW ORLEANS — The Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on April 16 affirmed a district court’s ruling that the denial of line of duty (LOD) disability benefits to a former National Football League player was not an abuse of discretion, agreeing with the lower court’s finding that the appeals committee’s interpretation of the plan was not unreasonable.

  • April 16, 2021

    Issue Of Fact Exists As To Whether Attorney Was Totally Disabled, Judge Says

    NEW ORLEANS — A Louisiana federal judge on April 14 denied a disability insurer’s motion for summary judgment after determining that a question of fact exists as to whether an attorney was totally disabled and whether the attorney’s activities following the date of disability support a finding of total disability under the policy at issue. 

  • April 16, 2021

    Question Of Fact Exists As To Whether Disability Insurer Mailed Final Denial Letter

    NEW ORLEANS — A Louisiana federal judge on April 14 denied a disability insurer’s motion for summary judgment on the applicable standard of review after determining that a question of fact exists as to whether the insurer actually mailed a final denial letter to the disability claimant.

  • April 08, 2021

    Breach Of Contract, Bad Faith Claims Against Disability Income Insurer Dismissed

    OKLAHOMA CITY — An Oklahoma federal judge on March 26 dismissed claims for breach of contract and bad faith against a disability income insurer after determining that the insured failed to show that the insurer breached its contract or acted in bad faith in denying a claim for benefits; however, the judge allowed a fraud claim based on alleged misrepresentations made by the insurer’s agent to proceed.

  • April 07, 2021

    Disability Insurer Wrongfully Denied Benefits To Nurse Who Was Addicted To Fentanyl

    ST. LOUIS — A district court properly found that a disability insurer abused its discretion in denying claims for short-term disability and long-term disability benefits because no reasonable person could conclude that the claimant, a nurse anesthetist who was addicted to fentanyl, was able to safely administer anesthesia to patients, the Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals said April 5.

  • April 05, 2021

    Disability Claimant Failed To Prove He Is Disabled From Any Occupation

    PASADENA, Calif. — The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on April 2 affirmed a district court’s ruling in favor of a disability insurer after determining that the district court did not err in finding that the claimant failed to prove by a preponderance of the evidence that he is disabled under the disability plan’s any-occupation standard.

  • April 05, 2021

    Disability Insurer Did Not Abuse Its Discretion In Denying Benefits, Panel Says

    ST. LOUIS — The Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on April 1 affirmed a district court’s ruling that a disability insurer did not abuse its discretion in denying a claim for disability benefits because the insurer reasonably concluded that the claimant was capable of performing sedentary work.

  • March 26, 2021

    Disability Insurer Did Not Abuse Discretion In Terminating Claimant’s LTD Benefits

    NEW YORK — A disability insurer did not abuse its discretion in finding that a claim was not physically disabled from performing the duties of any occupation, a New York federal judge said March 24, noting that the insurer was not obligated to defer to the opinions of the claimant’s treating physician regarding her ability to work.

  • March 24, 2021

    Cognitive Impairments Prevented Disability Claimant’s Ability To Work, Judge Says

    SEATTLE — A disability claimant is entitled to long-term disability benefits because the claimant met his burden of proving by a preponderance of the evidence that he was unable to work in his own occupation as a result of anxiety, depression, insomnia and other cognitive impairments, a Washington federal judge said March 22 in granting the claimant’s motion for judgment on the administrative record.

  • March 24, 2021

    Reclassification Of Disability Claimant’s Occupation Was Arbitrary, Capricious

    WILMINGTON, Del. — A disability insurer acted arbitrarily and capriciously in terminating a disability claimant’s benefits because the insurer wrongfully reclassified the claimant’s occupation as an internal medical specialist after more than 10 years of correctly classifying the claimant’s occupation as a gastroenterologist, a Delaware federal judge said March 19 in granting judgment in favor of the claimant.

  • March 23, 2021

    Disability Claimant Is Entitled To STD, LTD Benefits, Judge Determines

    BOWLING GREEN, Ky. — A disability claimant is entitled to short-term disability (STD) and long-term disability (LTD) benefits because the disability insurer’s denial of benefits is not supported by the medical evidence, a Kentucky federal judge said March 18 in granting the claimant’s motion for judgment.

  • March 22, 2021

    9th Circuit Says District Court Wrongfully Refused To Reopen Disability Suit

    PASADENA, Calif. — The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on March 18 reversed a district court’s ruling denying a disability claimant’s motion to reopen one of two cases filed against a disability plan and plan administrator because the district court wrongfully assumed that the disability plan and plan administrator will eventually decide whether the claimant is totally disabled.

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