Case: Health & Welfare Benefits/Disability (8th Cir.)

April 6, 2021, 8:43 PM

A nurse anesthetist fired for using Fentanyl on the job was disabled under the terms of his short- and long-term disability benefits plans, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit held. Kansas City Life Insurance Co., which had issued disability insurance policies to Mid-Missouri Anesthesiologists, Inc. as part of its employee benefit plan, abused its discretion in denying benefits, the court said. Ronald Bernard was terminated due to his “employer’s serious concern for the safety of the patients—that is, because Bernard could not safely administer anesthesia while under the influence of fentanyl,” the court said.

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