Treatment for symptoms doesn't prove pre-existing condition

(6/24/2004)-- The 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals awarded long-term disability benefits to a woman who was treating for symptoms of MS prior to being formally diagnosed, The Legal Intelligencer reported today. The decision is a victory for ERISA plaintiffs. The court ruled in McLeod v. Hartford Life and Accident Insurance that insurers cannot consider a disease to be a pre-existing condition when the worker was getting treatment for its symptoms but had not yet been diagnosed. The decision reversed a ruling by the U.S. District Court that held McLeod was not eligible for benefits due to a pre-existing condidion exclusion in the Hartford policy.