If an insured is making a claim under a disability insurance policy that he or she is unable to perform the duties of their occupation, does the policy require a showing that the claimant is unable to perform all of the job duties or is a showing of an inability to perform any material job duty sufficient. That was the question presented in Chaudhry v. Provident Life and Acc.Ins.Co., 2014 WL 3511529 (N.D.Ill. July 16, 2014), which involved a claim submitted by a psychiatrist who sought total disability benefits when a vision impairment significantly limited him from practicing in his field. There were a number of complicating issues, including the doctor's guilty plea to one count of Medicare fraud, which caused the insurer to question his claimed pre-disability income. However, the major issue in the case turned on whether Dr. Chaudhry needed to show he could not perform any aspect of his prior practice. Judge Amy St. Eve of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, analyzed the issue in the plaintiff's favor.
That question was answered in the affirmative in Yasko v. Reliance Standard Life Ins.Co., 2014 U.S.Dist.LEXIS 88469 (N.D.Ill. June 30, 2014), a case involving accidental death insurance that was litigated by DeBofsky, Sherman & Casciari. See, http://www.debofsky.com/DeBofsky-Associates-Receives-Favorable-Ruling-in-Accidental-Death-Insurance-Case.shtml. Alan Yasko, a physician, died of a pulmonary embolism shortly after flying from Chicago to a medical conference in Mexico after a brief stopover in Houston. Following his death, a claim was submitted to Reliance Standard Life Insurance Company for accidental death insurance; however, Reliance denied that Dr. Yasko's death was accidental and also claimed that prior medical treatment was a contributing cause of death. The court rejected both claims.