Chabner v. United of Omaha

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DRA prevailed after many years of hard-fought litigation against United of Omaha Life Insurance Company. This case has positively altered the landscape of insurance coverage for people with disabilities in California.

A U.S. District Court judge found that United discriminated against Howard Chabner, a man with muscular dystrophy, by charging him a life insurance premium twice the amount charged to a non-disabled man.

United did not rely on underwriting experience or upon other reliable data when determining the premium to charge Mr. Chabner; United based its determination solely on his disability and unfounded presumption that someone with his condition will have a shorter lifespan.

United of Omaha appealed the district court’s judgment to the Federal Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. The appellate court sustained the lower court’s decision. The U.S. Department of Justice and the California Department of Justice were among the civil rights organizations that supported DRA’s appellate case.

DRA Co-counseled this case with William Alderman of the law firm Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP.

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