Interpreting Accident under ERISA-Governed AD&D Coverage

By: Joshua D. Lerner

12.27.18

Originally published in The ERISA Report, Volume 13, Issue 3.

Typical ERISA-governed accidental death and dismemberment (“AD&D”) insurance pays a benefit for covered loss arising from an “accident,” or an “accidental” event. In many if not most policies, the terms “accident” and “accidental” are undefined or vaguely defined, leaving ultimate interpretation of these coverage-dispositive terms to the courts. In this article, Josh Lerner examines selected cases from the developing common law and concludes that judicial interpretation of these undefined policy terms in ERISA cases has mired courts in a different, arguably no less murky, bog. 

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