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ERISA Law
 
Tommy Dowdy and Sharon Morris-Dowdy v. Metropolitan Life Insurance Company Northern District of California Federal Courthouse - San Francisco

In 2014, Appellant Tommy Dowdy suffered a serious
injury to his left leg as the result of an automobile accident.
His leg was eventually amputated below the knee. Mr.
Dowdy and his wife, Sharon Morris-Dowdy, sought
accidental dismemberment benefits under an employee
welfare benefit plan governed by the Employee Retirement
Income Security Act of 1974 (“ERISA”). Appellee
... More...
   $0 (05-19-2018 - CA)

Elizabeth A. Clemons v. Norton Healthcare, Inc. Western District of Kentucky Federal Courthouse - Louisville, Kentucky

This appeal is the latest installment in an ERISA litigation
saga that has spanned almost ten years. At the risk of oversimplifying their case, the Plaintiff–
Retirees claim that Defendant Norton Healthcare, Inc. Retirement Plan (“Norton”) underpaid
them under the terms of the plan. The district court found that the plan was unambiguous in the
Retirees’ favor. We agree with the dis... More...
   $0 (05-16-2018 - KY)

Tracey K. Kuehl v. Pamela Sllner Northern District of Iowa Federal Courthouse - Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Tracey K. Kuehl (Tracey), Lisa K. Kuehl (Lisa), Kris A. Bell, Nancy A.
Harvey, John T. Braumann, and the Animal Legal Defense Fund (plaintiffs) brought
suit against Pamela Sellner, Tom Sellner, and Cricket Hollow Zoo (defendants) under
1The Honorable Richard W. Goldberg, United States Court of International
Trade, sitting by designation.
-2-
the Endangered Species Act, 16 U... More...
   $0 (04-18-2018 - IA)

James P.Teufel v. The Northern Trust Company, et al. Northern District of Illinois Courthouse - Chicago, Illinois

In 2012 Northern Trust
changed its pension plan. Until then it had a defined-benefit
plan under which retirement income depended on years
worked, times an average of each employee’s five highestearning
consecutive years, times a constant. Example: 30
years worked, times an average high-five salary of $50,000,
times 0.018, produces a pension of $27,000. (We ignore sev2
N... More...
   $0 (04-11-2018 - IL)

Metlife Life and Annuity Company v. Connecticut v. Uzo Akpele, J.E.A., et al. Northern District of Georgia Federal Courthouse - Atlanta, Georgia

Plaintiff MetLife Life and Annuity Co. of Connecticut (“MetLife”) initiated this interpleader action under Rule 22 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and sought to pay into the registry of the district court the proceeds of an insurance policy on the life of Dr. Ignatius Akpele, deceased. The defendants named by MetLife were Uzo Akpele (the widow of Dr. Akpele), J.E.A. (a minor child of Dr. A... More...   $0 (03-29-2018 - GA)

Pharrell Williams v. Frankie Christian Gaye Central District of California Federal Courthouse - Los Angeles, California

After a seven-day trial and two days of deliberation, a jury found that Pharrell Williams, Robin Thicke, and Clifford Harris, Jr.’s song “Blurred Lines,” the world’s best-selling single in 2013, infringed Frankie Christian Gaye, Nona Marvisa Gaye, and Marvin Gaye III’s copyright in Marvin Gaye’s 1977 hit song “Got To Give It Up.” Three consolidated appeals followed.

Appellants and Cross-A... More...
   $0 (03-29-2018 - CA)

Margery Newman v. Metropolitian Life Insurance Company Northern District of Illinois Courthouse - Chicago, Illinois

At age 56, Margery Newman pur-chased a long-term-care insurance plan from the Metropoli-tan Life Insurance Company (“MetLife”). She opted for one of MetLife’s non-standard options for paying her insurance pre-miums; MetLife called the method she selected “Reduced-Pay
2 No. 17-1844
at 65.” When Newman was 67 years old, she was startled to discover that MetLife that year more than doubled he... More...
   $0 (03-27-2018 - IL)

Rebecca Cooper v. Honeywell International, Inc. Western District of Michigan Federal Courthouse - Grand Rapids, Michigan

This is yet another entry in a complicated tangle of cases
dealing with whether retiree benefits in a collective bargaining agreement (“CBA”) should
extend beyond the CBA’s expiration. Rebecca Cooper and some 50 other retirees at Honeywell
International’s Boyne City, Michigan plant say that Honeywell must provide them healthcare
benefits until they reach age 65. Honeywell responds ... More...
   $0 (03-08-2018 - MI)

James Ellis; William Perry v. Fidelity Management Trust Company

Plaintiffs James Ellis and
William Perry brought this certified class action under the
Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 ("ERISA"),
alleging that Fidelity Management Trust Company, the fiduciary for
a fund in which plaintiffs had invested, breached its duties of
loyalty and prudence in managing the fund. Fidelity won summary
judgment and plaintiffs appealed. B... More...
   $0 (02-22-2018 - MA)

Edmundo Amparan; Kimberly L. Amparan v. Lake Powell Car Rental and Mevlut Berkay Demir, Denizcan Karadeniz; PV Holding Corporation District of New Mexico Federal Courthouse - Albuquerque, New Mexico

Edmundo Amparan and Kimberly L. Amparan (the “Amparans”) appeal from
the district court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of Lake Powell Car Rental
Companies (“Lake Powell”) on the Amparans’ claims for negligent entrustment and
loss of consortium. The claims arose from a vehicle accident involving a motorcycle
operated by Mr. Amparan and a Ford Mustang rented by Lake Powell to D... More...
   $0 (02-20-2018 - NM)

John Dragus v. Reliance Standard Insurance Company Northern District of Illinois Courthouse - Chicago, Illinois

Plaintiff-appellant, John Dragus,
brought suit against defendant-appellee, Reliance Standard
Life Insurance Company (“Reliance”), under the Employee
Retirement Income Security Act for denial of long-term
disability (“LTD”) benefits. After the district court denied
2 No. 17-1752
Dragus’ request for discovery outside the claim file record,
both parties moved for summary j... More...
   $0 (02-14-2018 - IL)

Solas Industrial Innovation, LLc v. The Superior Court of Orange County, The People, Real Party in Interest

The Orange County District Attorney brought an action for civil penalties
under this state’s unfair competition law (UCL; Bus. & Prof. Code, § 17200) and
fair advertising law (FAL; id., § 17500) against an employer. The action alleged
the employer violated workplace safety standards established by the state
occupational safety and health law (Cal/OSHA; Lab. Code, § 6300 et seq.) an... More...
   $0 (02-11-2018 - CA)

Margery Newman v. Metropolitan Life Insurance Company Northern District of Illinois Courthouse - Chicago, Illinois

At age 56, Margery Newman purchased
a long-term care insurance plan from the Metropolitan
Life Insurance Company (“MetLife”). She opted for one of
MetLife’s non-standard options for paying her insurance premiums;
MetLife called the method she selected “Reduced-Pay
at 65.” When Newman was 67 years old, she was startled to
2 No. 17-1844
discover that MetLife that year mor... More...
   $0 (02-07-2018 - IL)

James Boyd v. ConAgra Foods, Inc. Eighth Circuit Courthouse - St. Louis, Missouri

James Boyd, a former employee of ConAgra Foods, Inc., brought this action
pursuant to the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (“ERISA”). Boyd
seeks to recover severance benefits under an ERISA plan that guarantees these
benefits when ConAgra, in certain circumstances, materially reduces an employee’s
position, duties, or responsibilities. Boyd alternatively claims that ... More...
   $0 (01-08-2018 - MO)

Todd M. Babin v. Quality Energy Services, Inc. Eastern District of Louisiana Federal Courthouse - New Orleans, Louisiana

Todd M. Babin worked for Quality Energy Services, Inc., until he became disabled in 2012. He applied for short-term disability benefits through Quality Energy’s employee benefit plan. His application was denied in February 2013. In February 2014, he requested documents regarding both the short- and long-term disability plans, but he alleges that Quality Energy never sent those documents to him. Ba... More...   $0 (01-04-2018 - LA)

Todd M. Babin v. Quality Energy Services, Inc. Eastern District of Louisiana Federal Courthouse - New Orleans, Louisiana

Todd M. Babin worked for Quality Energy Services, Inc., until he became disabled in 2012. He applied for short-term disability benefits through Quality Energy’s employee benefit plan. His application was denied in February 2013. In February 2014, he requested documents regarding both the short- and long-term disability plans, but he alleges that Quality Energy never sent those documents to him. Ba... More...   $0 (12-25-2017 - LA)

David Skillin v. Rady Children's Hospital-San Diego

David Skillin brought a Private Attorneys General Act lawsuit against his former
employer Rady Children's Hospital of San Diego (Rady) for alleged violations of the
California Labor Code. Skillin claimed Rady made unauthorized payroll deductions from
his wages, resulting in higher than desired contributions to his retirement plan.
2
(Lab. Code, §§ 221–224.) He also claimed Rad... More...
   $0 (12-09-2017 - CA)

Katheryn Swenson v. United of Omaha Life Insurance Company Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals - New Orleans, Louisiana

Katheryn Swenson filed suit in Louisiana state court seeking benefits from a life insurance policy after her husband passed away. The insurance company refused to pay based on its belief that Swenson’s husband was not a covered employee at the time of his death. In seeking to recover the death benefits, Swenson cited Louisiana statutes imposing certain requirements on group life policies concernin... More...   $0 (12-05-2017 - LA)

Rose Anwar v. DOW Chemical Company, Meglobal International PZE; Ramesh Ramachandran Western District of Michigan Federal Courthouse - Grand Rapids, Michigan

Rose Anwar appeals the district court’s dismissal of her claims and argues that the district court erred in granting a motion to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction and a motion for summary judgment to Defendants-Appellees MEG
International and The Dow Chemical Company (“Dow”) respectively. Anwar also argues that
the district court erred in denying her request for additional discover... More...
   $0 (11-30-2017 - MI)

Paul F. Sikora v. UPMC Third Circuit Court of Appeals - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

A so-called “top-hat” plan is “a plan which is
unfunded and is maintained by an employer primarily for
the purpose of providing deferred compensation for a
select group of management or highly compensated
employees.” 29 U.S.C. §§ 1101(a)(1), 1051(2),
1081(a)(3). These plans need not comply with many of
the substantive provisions of the Employee Retirement
3
Income S... More...
   $0 (11-30-2017 - PA)

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA v. CALEB GRAY-BURRISS UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA

Defendant Caleb Gray-Burriss founded the National Association of Special Police and
Security Officers (“NASPSO”) in the 1990s and served the labor union in various high-ranking
positions. The government’s 19-count Second Superseding Indictment, filed in August 2012,
charged Gray-Burriss with “two distinct schemes to steal from the union and its members.”
United States v. Gray... More...
   $0 (11-28-2017 - DC)

Patricia Arellano v. Clark County Collection Service, LLC; Borg Law Group, LLC Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Courthouse - San Francisco, California

Can a debt collector avoid liability under the Federal Fair
Debt Collection Practices Act by obtaining the debtor’s
lawsuit through a writ of execution? We conclude that such
a procedure frustrates the Act’s purpose and is thus
preempted.

I

Patricia Arellano was overdue on a small amount of
medical debt—$371.89 to be precise. A private collection
agency, C... More...
   $0 (11-19-2017 - NV)

Robert Ramirez v. United of Omaha Life Insurance Company Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals - New Orleans, Louisiana

Robert Ramirez traveled to West Texas and contracted a fungal infection
that ultimately resulted in the removal of one of his eyes. He sought benefits
under an accidental death and dismemberment and life insurance policy
provided by his employer. The insurer, United of Omaha Life Insurance
Company (United), denied the claim, and Ramirez filed suit. The district court
granted su... More...
   $0 (10-13-2017 - TX)

James J. Thole v. U.S. Bank National Association Eighth Circuit Courthouse - St. Louis, Missouri

Named plaintiffs James Thole and Sherry Smith (collectively, “plaintiffs”)1
brought a putative class action against U.S. Bank, N.A. (“U.S. Bank”); U.S. Bancorp;
and multiple U.S. Bancorp directors (collectively, “defendants”),2 challenging the
defendants’ management of a defined benefit pension plan (“Plan” or “U.S. Bank
Pension Plan”) from September 30, 2007, to December 31, 2010.... More...
   $0 (10-12-2017 - MN)

DRK Photo v. McGraw-Hill Global Education Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals - San Francisco, California

This appeal raises the now often litigated issue of whether a stock photography agency—here, the Arizona-based agency DRK Photo (“DRK”)—has standing under the Copyright Act of 1976 to pursue infringement claims involving photographs from its collection. Ultimately, there is no bright line answer to this question. Here, we affirm the grant of summary judgment in favor of defendants, McGraw-Hill Glo... More...   $0 (09-16-2017 - AZ)

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