United States District Court, D. Maryland
CATHERINE C. BLAKE UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
insurance dispute arises between William J. Felton and
Hartford Life and Accident Insurance Company
("Hartford"). Pending before the court is
Hartford's motion to dismiss the complaint as untimely,
and for failure to state a claim (ECF No. 10). For the
reasons outlined below, the court will deny Hartford's
motion. The issues have been briefed and no oral argument is
necessary. See Local Rule 105.6 (D. Md. 2018).
case arises from Hartford's June 8, 2016, denial of
Felton's claim for Total Disability. (CompL Ex 1
["Letter Contesting Denial"] at 2, ECF No.
2). Prior to the initiation of this suit, Felton worked as a
counselor for the Anne Arundel County school system and was
covered under a disability policy Hartford provided to the
Teacher Association of Anne Arundel County. (Id. at
1-2). Under the policy, Total Disability is defined as:
disability while covered under the Policy resulting:
(a) from Sickness, disease or Complication of Pregnancy; or
(b) directly from accidental bodily Injuries and
independently of all other causes; which requires the regular
care of a duly licensed physician or surgeon, and completely
and continuously prevents You:
(a) from performing any of Your occupational duties during
the first 104 weeks of the period of Total Disability; and
(b) from engaging, during the remainder of the period of
Total Disability, in any occupation or employment for which
You are fitted by education, training and experience.
(Compl. Ex 2 [the "Policy"] at 1, ECF No. 2). In
other words, a claimant will not qualify for Total Disability
unless their disability not only precludes them from holding
their current position of employment, but also precludes them
from holding that same position in any other work
denied Felton's claim for Total Disability because, by
its account, "all of your doctors do not see any
limitation that would preclude you from working in your
occupation as a counselor in a different work environment or
for another employer. Global psychiatric impairments
precluding occupational function are not substantiated."
(Letter Contesting Denial at 1-2 (quoting the June 8, 2016,
letter Hartford's Senior Ability Analyst, -Tricia L.
Neild-Barry, sent Felton)). Hartford concluded that
Felton's condition might prevent him from working in his
current position as a counselor in the Anne Arundel school
system, but it did not preclude him from working as a
counselor in any other work environment. (Letter Contesting
Denial at 2; The Policy at 1).
alleges that Hartford improperly denied his claim of Total
Disability. (Compl. at 1). As Hartford recognized in its
motion to dismiss, this case is essentially an appeal from
the September 20, 2017, Final Order of the Maryland Insurance
Administration ("MIA"), which affirmed
Hartford's denial of benefits. (Def.'s Mot. at 2).