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Benefits & Executive Comp

Reliance Owes Benefits After Worker’s Layoff, Cancer Diagnosis

Feb. 23, 2021, 3:09 PM

Reliance Standard Life Insurance Co. wrongly denied disability benefits to a man who received a prostate cancer diagnosis after his employer told him he was being laid off but before the layoff became effective, the Tenth Circuit held.

Reliance said David Carlile wasn’t “actually working” and therefore not an “active, full-time employee” under the disability policy when his disability arose in June 2016. But “active” is an ambiguous term that must be construed in Carlile’s favor to mean “current employee,” the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit said Monday.

The dispute arose in March 2016, when Lighthouse Resources...

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