The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals dealt a huge blow to Prudential Insurance Company of America in an ERISA long-term disability case.

The case is Patricia Woods vs. Prudential Insurance Company of America.

The big issue in these cases is whether a federal judge and look at a claim denial "all over again" or whether he has to grant deference to the insurance company denying the claim.

In order to grant deference, the disability plan must have certain magic language in it "granting discretion."

The Court of Appeals ruled that standard language that Prudential uses in its plans does not grant discretion and that claims must be reviewed de novo.

This could effect thousands of Prudential group long term disability insurance policies and is a major victory for claimants.
Ben Glass
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Ben Glass is a nationally recognized car accident and ERISA disability attorney in Fairfax, VA.
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