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.