Foster v. Sedgwick Claims Management Services, Inc., No. 15-7150 (D.C. Cir. 2016)Annotate this Case
Kelly Foster filed suit against Appellees under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), 29 U.S.C. 1132(a), to enforce her rights under short-term and long-term disability benefit plans that had been adopted by her employer, Sun Trust Bank. The district court granted summary judgment to Appellees and dismissed Foster's complaint. The district court then denied Foster's motion for reconsideration. The court affirmed the district court's finding that the short-term disability plan is an ERISA-exempt “payroll practice” under Department of Labor regulations; held that the district court appropriately applied a deferential standard of review to the administrator’s denial of benefits under the long-term disability plan because the terms of the plan unambiguously granted the administrator, and the administrator alone, the power to construe critical terms of the plan and to decide an employee’s eligibility for benefits; and held that the district court did not abuse its discretion in denying Foster's motion for reconsideration.