Tate v. Long Term Disability Plan for Salaried Employees of Champion International Corporation

545 F.3d 555 (7th Cir. 2008). This case involved a chronically ill individual whose disability benefits were summarily terminated without just cause. Although Jo Ann Tate’s condition had improved somewhat, the court found the improvement was insufficient to allow her to return to work, with the court finding: “That Tate can clean her home and care for her pets after years of treatment and medication does not support a conclusion that she is capable of employment unless the Plan believes she is qualified to care for animals as a living.” A similar finding was made in another case won by DeBofsky Sherman Casciari Reynolds – Druhot v. Reliance Standard Life Ins. Co., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 159678, 2017 WL 4310652 (N.D. Ill. September 28, 2017). There, the court found the ability to walk a dog did not prove the plaintiff could return to work as an attorney. The evidence conclusively established the plaintiff could not work and the doctors consulted by the insurer failed to rebut the evidence supporting the plaintiff’s disability.