This decision is from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in a lawsuit challenging the termination of insurance benefits for a long-term disability – namely, depression brought on by an HIV positive diagnosis. After several appeals to the insurance plan the insurer, MetLife, informed the plaintiff in writing that it was upholding its original decision to terminate benefits based on the plan’s 24 month limitation for disabilities resulting from mental illness. The letter also stated that if the administrative appeal were to be denied, plaintiff would have the right to bring a civil action under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA). The plaintiff filed a complaint under § 502(a) of ERISA in federal court. The trial court granted defendant’s motion for summary judgment and denied the plaintiff’s claim. On April 11, 2014, the court of appeals upheld the lower court’s ruling.
CHLP fights stigma and discrimination at the intersection of HIV, race, health status, disability, class, sexuality and gender identity and expression, with a focus on criminal and public health systems. As part of this work, we support movement building that amplifies the power of individuals and communities to mobilize for change rooted in racial, gender and economic justice. We do this through legal advocacy, high-impact policy initiatives, and creation of cross-issue partnerships, networks, and resources.