Fortier v. Principal Life Ins. Co., No. 10-1441 (4th Cir. 2012)Annotate this Case
Plaintiff commenced this action under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), 29 U.S.C. 1001 et seq., claiming that the administrator of the Principal Life policies had misconstrued the policies in calculating his predisability earnings and that, with a proper calculation, his predisability earnings were far greater. The district court, ruling on cross-motions for summary judgment, entered judgment in favor of Principal Life. The court affirmed. Even though the court recognized that the policy language, defining those expenses that could be subtracted from gross income to arrive at predisability earnings, was somewhat confusing and, to be sure, needlessly verbose, the court concluded that the administrator's interpretation was a reasonable one.