Cich obtained his license as a doctor of chiropractic in Minnesota in January 1987 and established a practice in Maple Grove, Minnesota, shortly thereafter. During the course of his practice, Cich purchased two disability income policies and three business overhead expense policies from National Life. He also purchased a disability income policy from Penn Mutual. The policies provide monthly payments of various amounts and for various periods of time in the event that the insured suffers a “total disability.”
The National Life disability income policies and one of the National Life business overhead expense policies define “total disability” as follows, with minor, immaterial deviations: “The Insured shall be deemed totally disabled only if the Insured . . . is unable to perform the material and substantial duties of the Insured’s occupation due to . . . accidental injury . . . or . . . sickness.” The other National Life business overhead expense policies similarly define “total disability” and “totally disabled” to mean “injury or sickness restricts your ability to perform the material and substantial duties of your regular occupation to an extent that prevents you from engaging in your regular occupation.” The Penn Mutual policy states that the insured will be considered totally disabled only if certain conditions are met, including (1) “You are unable to do the substantial and material duties of your regular occupation” and (2) “Your total disability results from sickness or injury.” The policies also require that to qualify as totally disabled, the insured must be receiving appropriate medical care for the condition, with variations not material here regarding what qualifies as appropriate.
Between 1988 and 2006, the Minnesota Board of Chiropractic Examiners received numerous complaints that Cich misled patients about treatment costs and insurance coverage. On March 27, 2008, the Board suspended Cich’s chiropractic license for two years and ordered him to pay a $50,000 fine. The Minnesota courts upheld the two-year license suspension and reduced the fine to $30,000.
Judge(s): Steven Colloton
Jurisdiction: U.S. Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit
Related Categories: Contracts , Insurance
|Circuit Court Judge(s)|
|Trial Court Judge(s)|