Appropriate Care: A Smorgasbord of Interesting Disability Cases

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Paul Revere Life Ins. Co. v. DiBari, 2010 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 122906 (D. Conn. 2010)

Facts and holding: On April 29, 2008, dentist Michael DiBari (“DiBari”) submitted a claim for total disability benefits under his disability income and business overhead expense coverage (“BOE”) policies with Paul Revere Life Insurance Company (“Paul Revere”) as a result of bilateral carpal tunnel syndrome.

Paul Revere ultimately denied DiBari’s claim because after conservative treatment failed to alleviate his symptoms, DiBari declined to undergo carpal tunnel release surgery. Although DiBari’s treating physician believed there was a risk that the surgery might not be successful, he and DiBari’s neurologist both agreed that DiBari did not have any contraindications to the surgery and that the surgery was not “medically inappropriate.” Additionally, Paul Revere’s in house board certified orthopedic surgeon and an independent hand surgeon both agreed that by failing to undergo release surgery, DiBari was not seeking and receiving “appropriate care” for his symptoms.

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