Circuit Upholds American Electric's Benefits Denial

Law360, New York (March 8, 2007, 12:00 AM EST) -- A circuit court has upheld a ruling that denied disability benefits to a former American Electric Power Service Corp. maintenance mechanic.

Ricky E. Hale claimed that after back surgery corrected a herniated lumbar disc, he became permanently disabled and was entitled to long-term disability benefits under an Employee Retirement Income Security Act plan. He also claimed the loss of his right little finger prevented him from working.

The Fourth Circuit ruled on Tuesday that American Electric Power acted within the discretion of its ERISA plan to...
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