U.S. First Circuit - The FindLaw 1st Circuit Court of Appeals News and Information Blog

Plaintiff's ERISA Suit Not Supported By Lyme Disease Diagnosis

Gent v. CUNA Mut. Ins. Soc'y, 09-1703, concerned a challenge to the district court's grant of a long-term disability insurance provider's motion for summary judgment in plaintiff's ERISA suit, claiming that the insurer had unlawfully terminated her long-term disability benefits after determining that plaintiff was subject to the "mental illness limitation," in its policy.

After determining that the clinical evidence undermined a Lyme disease diagnosis, the court went onto state,"Gent's history of depression makes the Lyme disease diagnosis more susceptible to questioning.  Before claiming disability due to Lyme disease, Gent had filed a disability claim based on recurrent major depressive disorder.  Symptoms of this disorder overlap with symptoms of Lyme disease."

Thus, in affirming the district court's judgment, the court held that the evidence does not establish plaintiff's claim that her illness was caused by Lyme disease.

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