Logourl black
From our private database of 14,100+ case briefs...

Heller v. Equitable Life Assurance Society of the United States

United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
833 F.2d 1253 (1987)


Facts

Dr. Stanley Heller (plaintiff) is a doctor specializing in invasive cardiology. In April 1983, Heller was issued a disability-income policy from Equitable Life Assurance Society of the United States (Equitable) (defendant). Under that policy, if Heller became totally disabled, he would receive $7,000 per month. Total disability was defined by the policy as “the complete inability of the Insured, because of injury or sickness, to engage in the Insured's regular occupation, . . . provided, however, the total disability will not be considered to exist for any period during which the Insured is not under the regular care and attendance of a physician.” In 1983, Heller developed carpel tunnel syndrome. Thus, by March 1984, Heller could not practice invasive cardiology. Heller applied for benefits under his policy with Equitable. Equitable paid Heller monthly until May 1985. Equitable stopped paying Heller, because Heller refused to undergo recommended carpel tunnel syndrome surgery. Therefore, according to Equitable, Heller was not under a physician’s care and was therefore no longer totally disabled under the policy. Heller sued Equitable, seeking a declaratory judgment that Equitable breached the insurance contract. The trial court determined that Heller was entitled to receive monthly disability-income payments under his insurance contract. Equitable appealed.

Rule of Law

The rule of law is the black letter law upon which the court rested its decision.

To access this section, please start your free trial or log in.

Issue

The issue section includes the dispositive legal issue in the case phrased as a question.

To access this section, please start your free trial or log in.

Holding and Reasoning (Coffey, J.)

The holding and reasoning section includes:

  • A "yes" or "no" answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

To access this section, please start your free trial or log in.

What to do next…

  1. Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.

    You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 97,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Vanderbilt, Berkeley, and the University of Illinois—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students. Read our student testimonials.

  2. Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.

    Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students. Read more about Quimbee.

Here's why 218,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:

  • Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 14,100 briefs, keyed to 189 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
  • The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
  • Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
  • Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.