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Life Insurance Company of North America

Plaintiff Gregory Demaree was employed at Ohio Valley Electric Corporation/ Indiana-Kentucky Electrical Corporation (hereinafter referred to as "Ohio Valley") from March 23, 1979, until December 6, 2006. Demaree performed the skilled job of maintenance mechanic; his position was classified as "heavy" work by the Department of Labor. Demaree injured his left knee in 1995 and underwent two arthroscopic surgeries on the knee. In December 1997 he underwent a third surgery on the same knee. That surgery was performed by Dr. Joseph Randolph, an orthopaedic surgeon with OrthoIndy...

Following both his 1998 knee surgery and his 2004 lumbar surgery, Demaree received disability benefits under the Plan for a period of time and then returned to his job as a maintenance mechanic after his recovery was complete. He again applied for long-term disability benefits following his rotator cuff surgery in December 2006. His application was approved by LINA on February 28, 2007, with an effective date of February 4, 2007. Pursuant to the Plan, for the first 24 months Demaree was considered disabled by the Plan because he was unable to perform all the essential duties of his regular occupation; that is, he was unable to perform the heavy work required by his maintenance mechanic job. After benefits were paid for 24 months, however, the definition of disabled under the Plan changed, and the relevant question became whether Demaree was "unable to perform all the essential duties of any occupation for which he is or may reasonably become qualified...

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