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April 2014 Archives

Can a Law Banning Discretionary Clauses Apply to An Even Occurring Prior to the Legislative Enactment?

In Cerone v. Reliance Standard Life Ins.Co., 2014 U.S.Dist.LEXIS 46529 (S.D.Cal. March 28, 2014), after the plaintiff's accidental death claim based on the death of her husband was denied and her appeal exhausted, Debra Cerone filed suit against Reliance Standard Life Insurance Company. The issue decided in this opinion was whether the de novo or abuse of discretion standard of review applied.

DeBofsky, Sherman & Casciari Wins Disability Benefits for Law Firm Partner

In Fontaine v. Metropolitan Life Ins.Co., 2014 U.S.Dist.LEXIS 41253 (N.D.Ill. March 27, 2014), DeBofsky, Sherman & Casciari scored a major victory in securing an award of long-term disability insurance for a partner in a major law firm. The plaintiff, Mary Fontaine, enjoyed a successful career as a partner practicing in the field of structured finance for the law firm of Mayer Brown in Chicago where she worked for thirty years. As a benefit of her employment, Fontaine purchased both long-term disability and individual disability income insurance from MetLife. Unfortunately, she had to seek benefits under both policies due to myopic macular degeneration, which progressively worsened her vision from when the condition was diagnosed in 1997 until 2011 when she ceased working. Although several treating and examining doctors, along with other vocational and functional test results supported Fontaine's claim, MetLife denied the claim and a pre-suit appeal. Fontaine then brought suit against MetLife, and the parties agreed to present the case to the court as a trial on the papers pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 52. The court ruled for Fontaine.

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