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If you are an attorney practicing in the area of ERISA disability litigation,(or even if you are not an attorney) you may want to read the recent decision by the First Circuit in McDonough v. Aetna Life Ins. Co., 2015 WL 1684079 (April 15, 2015)  It is instructive in several respects.  First, the case illustrates a common situation that insurers use to deny or terminate benefits.  Second, and more importantly,  the court clarified the insurer’s obligation when it evaluates a claimant’s “own occupation.”

The claimant, Joseph McDonough, worked in a high-level, high-pressure position as a Senior Analyst III, in the information technology department of Biogen, Inc.   In that position he provided support to the server infrastructure of this global company.

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Workplace bullying is a common occurrence in the United States.  It can be found in all types of workplaces, such as schools, hospitals, nonprofits organizations, government, restaurants, and corporate offices.  No workplace is immune.   Perpetrators and victims come from all walks of life — doctors, nurses, managers, school teachers, minimum wage earners, lawyers.   No one is immune from being bullied.

I frequently receive telephone calls from persons who say they are being bullied at work and want to know what they can do about it.  All too often there will not be a legal remedy because bullying is not illegal in any state.  Bullying does not violate any State or Federal laws.

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