Daily Archives: April 12, 2019

“Own Occupation” Duties in a Long-Term Disability Policy Governed by ERISA: Does a Court Favor Those Listed in the Description of One's Actual Job, or Those Performed in the National Economy?

Posted in: Disability Insurance News, Insurance Litigation Blog April 12, 2019

“Own Occupation” Duties in a Long-Term Disability Policy Governed by ERISA: Does a Court Favor Those Listed in the Description of One’s Actual Job, or Those Performed in the National Economy?

Sometimes a legal dispute comes down to the simple interpretation of the meaning of two words.  The case of Christopher Patterson v. Aetna Life Insurance Company, 2019 WL 479209 (3d Cir. February 7, 2019) is such a case.  There, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals upheld summary judgment in favor of the plaintiff, ruling that, as used in plaintiff’s long-term disability policy underwritten by Aetna under ERISA, the plain meaning of “own occupation” is the job duties related to one’s actual job, as opposed to some generalized “national economy” …

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