Herzog v. Graphic Packaging Int'l, Inc., No. 13-1717 (7th Cir. 2014)Annotate this Case
Richard worked for GPI for 25 years until his 2009 death. He had a basic life insurance policy through GPI’s health and welfare plan and paid for an optional supplemental life insurance policy through GPI for several years. His wife, Maureen, was the beneficiary of both policies. At the end of 2008, Richard’s supplemental life insurance policy was cancelled. Richard’s pay stubs reflected the change, beginning in January 2009. When Richard died a few months later, GPI’s insurer, ABC, paid benefits on the basic life insurance policy. Richard had been diagnosed with stage 4 cancer in September 2008. Soon after Richard’s death, Maureen’s attorney requested information regarding Richard’s supplemental life insurance policy. The company refused the request, citing its confidentiality policy, indicating that the information would only be produced in response to a subpoena. Almost two years later, Maureen filed suit, claiming that either GPI or ABC breached the policy by terminating it without Richard’s consent, in violation of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, 29 U.S.C. 1001. The district court awarded the defendants summary judgment. The Seventh Circuit affirmed. There was no material issue of fact as to whether Richard cancelled his supplemental policy. Although Maureen speculated that someone other than Richard terminated the policy, she presented no evidence to support her assertion.