Administrator Cleared in Bee Sting Death Case

November 22, 2005 ( - A federal judge in Virginia has cleared an accidental death benefit plan administrator of wrongdoing in ruling that the death of plan participant who was allergic to bee stings wasn't covered under the policy.

US District Judge Glen Conrad of the US District Court for the Western District of Virginia said Tommie Hall’s susceptibility to bee stings was a substantial contributing cause of his death and thus the application of the plan’s disease or infirmity exclusion was appropriate.

Conrad said Hall’s widow was unable to show that the participant’s death was not the consequence of an allergic reaction and therefore not excluded by the plan. The participant’s physician said Hall did not have a history of a bee sting allergy but that the lack of awareness of a physical predisposition did not diminish the fact that the participant’s death was not the result of an accident, the court said.  

The opinion in Hall v. Metropolitan Life Insurance Co., W.D. Va., No. 7:05CV304, 11/17/05 can be found  here .