"A former Traverse City, Michigan, personal injury lawyer is entitled to continued monthly payments under his disability insurance policy because of evidence that his recurrent depression makes him unable to work as a trial attorney, a federal appeals court has ruled.

The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals at Cincinnati ruled for lawyer Mark M. Messing in a Sept. 9 opinion.

The appeals court cited evidence that Messing’s recurrent depression is triggered by stress, including the stress of law practice.

Messing’s 1985 policy with the Provident Life and Accident Insurance Co. entitled him to $3,080 monthly payments for life if he suffered a total disability because of sickness after 1988 but before he reached age 65. Total disability was defined as “not able to perform the substantial and material duties” of the occupation in which the policyholder is “regularly engaged” at the time of becoming disabled. The policyholder must also be under a doctor’s care."

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