After Hans-Gerd Rasenack was struck by a hit-and-run driver he applied for benefits under the accidental death and dismemberment insurance he paid for through employee deductions. The policy was issued through AIG Life insurance Company (AIG) and administered by AIG Claim Services. The policy provided an accidental paralysis benefit which covered hemiplegia.
At issue before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit was the decision of the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado. The matter before the court arose under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) which lays out the procedures the court must follow in evaluating a case.