Mr. Tatlow handled a case against Anheuser Busch, In-Bev, the plan sponsor and employer of a life insurance plan under a group employee benefits plan controlled by ERISA law. The life insurance policy was insured and underwritten by Prudential Insurance Company and provided benefits of $100,000. Ms. K.J. was a beer bottler that worked in the filler and depalliterizer area doing labor on machinery and putting labels on bottles in the bottle plant. She experienced a variety of knee problems and had difficulty with manipulation due to hand and finger arthritis. She also had some depression. She claimed to be permanently and totally disabled from all employment due to the combination of these problems. Prudential Insurance denied her because the extent of her knee problems did not preclude all employment and because the restrictions provided by her physicians did not prevent employment. Mr. Tatlow appealed and successfully argued that the knee restrictions in combination with the manipulative limitations precluded all work at the Anheuser Busch brewery and that due to her limited experience and education, together with her age, that she could not be retrained or work in any other environment. Under the terms of the plan the company had to buy-out the life insurance policy and pay the lump sum of $100,000 for the life insurance at the date of the disability.
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