How Ambiguity Can Expand Employee Insurance Coverage

By Mark DeBofsky (March 15, 2021, 6:17 PM EDT) -- What is contra proferentem?

Carlile v. Reliance Standard Life Insurance Co.[1] is a textbook illustration of the doctrine that construes ambiguities in insurance policies in favor of the insured and against the insurer. 

In February, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit affirmed a ruling by the U.S. District Court for the District of Utah that a policy ambiguity compelled a finding that David Carlile was an active employee at the time he became disabled and therefore qualified to receive disability insurance benefits.

Carlile began working for Lighthouse Resources Inc. in 2012. In November 2014, Carlile was given a...

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