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Robinson v. Liberty Life Assurance Company of Boston

United States District Court, M.D. Pennsylvania

June 11, 2014

YOLANDA ROBINSON, Plaintiff,
v.
LIBERTY LIFE ASSURANCE COMPANY OF BOSTON, Defendant

Page 542

[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

Page 543

For Yolanda Robinson, Plaintiff: Ronald T. Tomasko, LEAD ATTORNEY, James, Smith, Dietterick & Connelly, LLP, Hershey, PA; Cayla B. Jakubowitz, JSDC Law Offices, Hershey, PA.

For Liberty Life Assurance Company of Boston, Defendant: James P. Hollihan, LEAD ATTORNEY, Duane Morris LLP, Pittsburgh, PA.

OPINION

Hon. John E. Jones III, United States District Judge.

Page 544

MEMORANDUM

Before the Court are the parties' cross-motions for summary judgment in this matter respecting the Employment and Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), 29 U.S.C. § § 1001-1461. For the reasons that follow, the Court will deny Plaintiff's motion and grant Defendant's motion.

I. BACKGROUND

We begin by enumerating the undisputed facts, which are supported by record evidence, noting as we do that the parties fundamentally disagree on some significant factual points.

Plaintiff worked for Comcast from 2004 to 2010 and was a resident of California. (Doc. 1, ¶ 11). As a full-time employee, she became insured under a group Long-Term Disability Policy (the " LTD Policy" or the " Policy" ), effective June 1, 2005. (Doc. 1, ¶ 12). Defendant provides long-term disability insurance to employees of Comcast pursuant to the Policy. (Doc. 29, ¶ 1).

A. The Policy

Relevantly, the LTD Policy categorizes employees as either Class 3 or Class 4, which among other things, affects eligibility for benefits. ( See Doc. 1-1; Doc. 30-1). The Policy provides a general definition of " disability," which pertinently states as follows:

1. For persons other than pilots, co-pilots, and crewmembers of an aircraft:
* * *
b. i. if the Covered Person is eligible for the 12 Month own Occupation benefit, " Disability" or " Disabled" means that during the Elimination Period and the next 12 months of Disability the ...

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