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ARGUED SEPTEMBER 11, 2007

Before RIPPLE, MANION, and WOOD, Circuit Judges.

Dr. Gandhi Gutta, a laparoscopic surgeon, suffers from a variety of physical ailments. In August of 2000, he came to the conclusion that he could no longer work in his chosen profession and filed for disability benefits under a group policy with Standard Select Trust Insurance Plans (Standard). Gutta received disability benefits from Standard for two years. At that point, in order to be eligible for continuing benefits under the plan, he had to show not just that he was unable to perform his own occupation, but that he was unable to perform any gainful occupation for which he is suited by education and experience. Standard continued to pay benefits to Gutta for a third year while it investigated his eligibility under the latter, more stringent, criterion. It ultimately decided that Gutta was ineligible for continuing benefits because he was capable of working as a Medical Director.

 
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