Vocational Issues

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Opinion aberrational on work definition

In deciding whether an insurer properly terminated the plaintiff’s benefits, the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Osborne v. Hartford Life & Accident Insur. Co., 2006 U.S.App.LEXIS 24640 (Oct. 3), first noted the issue turned on the meaning of the insured’s ”own occupation” as used in the policy. The plaintiff was the chairman and […]

Court misunderstands definitions

The plaintiff, a systems programmer for Munich American Reassurance Company since 1982, began suffering from joint pain, back pain, cluster headaches and fatigue beginning in 1997. Tippitt v. Reliance Standard Life Insur. Co., 2006 U.S.App.LEXIS 19174 (11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, July 31). Eventually, after multiple physician visits failed to produce any relief in […]

Court misses the mark on disability

Gregory L. Tippitt, a systems programmer for Munich American Reassurance Company since 1982, began suffering from joint pain, back pain, cluster headaches and fatigue beginning in 1997. Eventually, after multiple physician visits failed to produce any relief in Tippitt’s symptoms, he became disabled in January 2000, shortly after receiving a promotion. Tippitt applied for benefits […]

Defining ‘disability’ means looking at duties

One of the difficulties in analyzing insurance claims involving disability has to do with deciding whether the individual claiming benefits is unable to perform the duties of his own occupation. The case of Freling v. Reliance Standard Life Insurance Co., 2004 U.S.Dist. LEXIS 7107 (S.D. Fla. 2004) is a very interesting example. An obstetrician/gynecologist, Dr. […]