Store Owner Loses|Disability Claim

     (CN) – The owner of a retail clothing chain in Southern California is not entitled to total disability benefits because although he can’t do all of the work he used to do, he can do the activities necessary to run the business and his income has not suffered, the California Courts of Appeal ruled.

     After an auto accident, Michael Hecht suffered back and neck pain that prevented him from doing many of the “hands-on” tasks that he did at work before the accident, such as lifting boxes of clothes.
     His physician declared him partially disabled and his bookkeeper testified that he could perform all the duties that he could before the accident.
     Hecht’s policy with Paul Revere Life Insurance defined “total disability” as “unable to perform the important duties of Your Occupation.” The trial court found that Hecht was not totally disabled and could perform the required duties to run his business.
     Judge Yegan affirmed, finding that “the duties which appellant cannot now perform cannot reasonably be said to be important for a buyer and manager of office operations.”

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