Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Felton v. Hartford Life & Insurance Co.

United States District Court, D. Maryland

June 14, 2019

WILLIAM J. FELTON
v.
HARTFORD LIFE & INSURANCE COMPANY

          MEMORANDUM

          CATHERINE C. BLAKE UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         This insurance dispute arises between William J. Felton and Hartford Life and Accident Insurance Company ("Hartford").[1] Pending before the court is Hartford's motion for summary judgment (ECF No. 19). For the reasons outlined below, the court will grant Hartford's motion. The issues have been briefed and no oral argument is necessary. See Local Rule 105.6 (D. Md. 2018).

         BACKGROUND

         This case arises from Hartford's June 8, 2016, denial of Felton's claim for Total Disability. (ECF No. 18-2 at HLAIC 000006-08). 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 HLAIC 000006). Under the policy, Total Disability is defined as:

Your 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.

(Id. at HLAIC 000091). 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 another workplace. (Id.).

         Hartford denied Felton's claim for Total Disability because all three of Felton's doctors "provided an opinion that there would not be a psychiatric contraindication precluding or limiting you from working in a different work environment and none of the providers would restrict you from returning to work if he were to pursue alternate employment." (Id. at HLAIC 000007). 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 another work environment, and Felton, therefore, did not qualify for Total Disability. (Id.).

         Felton alleges that Hartford improperly denied his claim of Total Disability. (Compl. at 1). 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. (See ECF No. 18-9 at HLAIC 000530-33).[2]

         STANDARD OF REVIEW

         Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56(a) provides that summary judgment should be granted "if the movant shows that there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law." Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a) (emphases added). "A dispute is genuine if a reasonable jury could return a verdict for the nonmoving party.'" Libertarian Party of Va. v. Judd,718 F.3d 308, 313 (4th Cir. 2013) (quoting Dulaney v. Packaging Corp. of Am.,673 F.3d 323, 330 (4th Cir. 2012)). "A fact is material if it 'might affect the outcome of the suit under the governing law.'" Id. (quoting Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc.,477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986)). Accordingly, "the mere existence of some alleged factual dispute between the parties will not defeat an otherwise properly supported motion for summary judgment[.]" Anderson, 477 U.S. at 247-48. The court must view the evidence in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party, Tolan v. Cotton,134 S.Ct. 1861, 1866 (2014) (per curiam), and draw all reasonable inferences in that party's favor, Scott v. Harris,550 U.S. 372, 378 (2007) (citations omitted); see also Jacobs v. N.C Admin. Office of the Courts,780 F.3d 562, 568-69 (4th ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.