Sullivan v. Unum Life Ins. Co., et al, No. 11-3711 (8th Cir. 2013)Annotate this Case
This appeal arose from a dispute between Unum and the late Kevin Sullivan over long-term disability benefit payments. Sullivan sued Unum, arguing that the termination of his benefits violated the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA), 29 U.S.C. 1001 et seq., and Unum counterclaimed for overpayment of benefits. The court concluded that it was not an abuse of discretion for the administrator to determine that the large payments that Sullivan received in 2004 were payments for the sale of a business for the purpose of calculating his benefits. Unum asserted that the payments were salary, not income. The court reversed the district court's grant of summary judgment and award of attorney's fees, remanding for consideration of Unum's counterclaims.