73 Am. U. L. Rev. F. 91 (2024).

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This Comment argues that the presumption against suicide should be applied in ERISA-controlled accident death and dismemberment (“AD&D) insurance policy cases where the decedent’s intent cannot be determined. The First Circuit, which articulated the current majority standard in Wickman v. Northwest National Insurance Co., requires the application of a two-prong subjectiveobjective test to determine if the decedent died accidentally or by suicide. The Eleventh Circuit requires the application of a presumption against suicide when the decedent’s intent is unclear, as articulated in Horton v. Reliance Standard Life Insurance Co. The Horton standard better aligns with the goals of ERISA, which include protecting the interests of AD&D plan beneficiaries.

* Senior Note & Comment Editor, American University Law Review, Volume 73; J.D. Candidate, May 2024, American University Washington College of Law; B.A. May 2017, Vassar College.

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