Court of Appeal Complicates the Analysis of Mental and Nervous Disability Claims

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In Bosetti v. The United States Life Ins. Co., __Cal. App. 4th __, 2009 WL 2104852 (July 17, 2009), the California Court of Appeal addressed whether a standard, two-year benefits limitation on disabilities due to “mental, nervous or emotional disorder[s]” could serve to limit benefits payable to an insured disabled from depression and anxiety who also complained of interrelated physical impairments. The Bosetti court held that the limitation was ambiguous and was not applicable if the claimant’s physical problems contributed to her disabling depression or were a cause or symptom of that depression. The Bosetti court further concluded that the insurer’s denial of benefits based upon that two-year limitation was not in bad faith under the genuine issue doctrine.

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