Court to Hear Case that Could Help Workers Claim Benefits

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Supreme court (AP) A case that could make it easier for employees to win health and disability benefit payments will be argued before the Supreme Court today.

The proceeding is being closely watched by insurance companies and business groups. At issue is a lawsuit filed by a 55-year-old Ohio woman against Metlife over disability payments.

Wanda Glenn left her job at Sears in 2000 due to a heart condition. She received disability payments from Metlife for two years, but the company stopped them in 2002, saying her condition had improved.

Glenn's lawyers argue Metlife had a conflict of interest because it both decided whether employees should receive benefits under Sears' disability plan and it paid the benefits. They say that gives Metlife a financial incentive to deny her claim.

Metlife says it's confident it's “right on the law.”

The Bush administration has weighed in on the case -- on Glenn's side.