WASHINGTON, D.C. — Review of the 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals’ ruling on a disability plan’s choice-of-law provision is not warranted because no circuit split exists on how choice-of-law provisions are interpreted in policies governed by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act and because choice-of-law provisions are uniformly honored by circuit courts, a disability insurer says in a March 18 response to a disability claimant’s petition for writ of certiorari filed in the U.S. Supreme Court.
ALEXANDRIA, Va. — A disability insurer’s termination of long-term disability benefits must be remanded because the claimant was not afforded the opportunity to administratively appeal the insurer’s final determination that the claimant was not disabled as the result of a mental condition, a Virginia federal judge said March 11.
MISSOULA, Mont. — A Montana federal magistrate judge on March 11 determined that a disability claimant’s allegations for breach of contract, bad faith and constructive fraud arising out of a disability insurer’s denial of any-occupation long-term disability (LTD) benefits can proceed as the claimant adequately pleaded facts in support of the claims.
PHOENIX — A disability insurer did not breach its contract or act in bad faith in rescinding a disability policy because the insured’s misrepresentations on the disability policy application were material and cannot be imputed to the disability insurer, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals said March 4.
EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. — After granting a motion to reconsider filed by an employer in a disability benefits dispute, an Illinois federal judge on March 9 determined that the disability claimant failed to state a claim upon which relief can be granted under an Illinois wage payment law because the claimant was not owed disability benefits that could be considered a wage under Illinois law.
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — A Florida federal judge on March 5 remanded a disability claimant’s suit to Florida state court after determining that the disability income insurer had knowledge of the amount in controversy when the complaint was filed and failed to timely remove the suit within 30 days.
NEW YORK — A New York federal judge on March 5 determined that a claim for additional long-term disability benefits must be remanded for a full and fair review by the claims administrator on the claimant’s pre-disability earnings based on additional evidence presented by the claimant and the incompleteness of the administrative record.
RICHLAND, Wash. — A Washington federal judge on March 1 granted judgment in favor of a disability insurer after determining that the weight of the medical evidence does not support a finding that the claimant was disabled under the terms of the policy and unable to work in her regular occupation as a medical clerk.
SEATTLE — A Washington federal judge on Feb. 25 determined that issues of fact exist that preclude summary judgment in favor of a disability income insurer on the insured’s claims for breach of contract, bad faith and unfair insurance practices.
BOSTON — A Massachusetts federal judge on Feb. 25 dismissed claims for wrongful termination and unfair or deceptive acts against a former employer and a disability insurer after determining that the disability claimant failed to show that his termination was caused by his medical leave.
PHOENIX — An Arizona federal judge on Feb. 24 granted a disability income insurer’s motion for summary judgment after determining that the insurer was entitled to rescind a disability income policy based on a misrepresentation made by the disability claimant in the policy application.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — A district court properly dismissed a disability claimant’s suit because the claimant released his right to file suit against the disability plan when he accepted a severance package and signed a release relinquishing his right to file suit against his former employer and its employee benefit programs, the District of Columbia Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals said Feb. 23.
GREENSBORO, N.C. — A North Carolina federal judge on Feb. 16 determined that the termination of a disability claimant’s short-term disability (STD) benefits was not an abuse of discretion as the decision was the result of a deliberate and principled reasoning process and was supported by substantial evidence.
DENVER — The 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Feb. 22 affirmed a district court’s ruling that a disability claimant is eligible for disability benefits because the term “active” as used in the disability plan at issue to describe a plan participant’s full-time employment is ambiguous and must be construed in the disability claimant’s favor.
DETROIT — A Michigan federal judge on Feb. 17 determined that a disability claimant failed to prove by a preponderance of the evidence that complications from diabetes rendered him disabled under the terms of a disability plan.
WICHITA, Kan. — A Kansas federal magistrate judge on Feb. 16 denied a disability claimant’s motion to conduct discovery after determining that the claimant failed to show that any exceptional circumstances exist that would warrant extra-record discovery.
SAN FRANCISCO — The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Feb. 17 reversed and remanded a ruling in favor of a disability insurer after determining that the disability policy’s self-reported limitations provision is subject to a California insurance law that bars the application of a self-reported limitations provision in disability contracts.
PASADENA, Calif. — The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Feb. 12 affirmed a district court’s ruling in favor of a disability insurer after determining that the lower court did not err in finding that the disability claimant was not totally disabled and was capable of performing light work.
PITTSBURGH — A disability insurer’s denial of long-term (LTD) disability benefits was arbitrary and capricious because the insurer operated under an inherent conflict of interest and the insurer’s record review was selective and incomplete, a Pennsylvania federal judge said Feb. 10 in entering judgment for the disability claimant.
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. — A Tennessee federal judge on Feb. 4 denied a disability claimant’s motion for an interlocutory appeal on the issue of whether a disability plan is a church plan under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act after determining that there is no substantial ground for difference of opinion that would warrant an interlocutory appeal.