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Case Number: 3:21-CV-529
Judge: Sarah A.L. Merriam
Court: United States District Court for the District of Connecticut (New Haven County)
Description: New Haven, Connecticut employment law lawyer represented Plaintiff who sued Defendant E.R.I.S.A.-Employee Benefits theory.
Plaintiff Coralisa Lewis (“plaintiff” or “Lewis”) has brought this action pursuant to the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (“ERISA”), 29 U.S.C. §1132. See Doc. #1 at 3. Plaintiff seeks judicial review of the denial by First Unum Life Insurance Company of America (“Unum” or “defendant”) of her claim for disability benefits under a group plan in which plaintiff participated. See id. at 2.
Each party filed a motion for summary judgment [Docs. #35, #36] and an opposition to the opposing party's motion for summary judgment [Docs. #47, #49]. Each party also filed a statement of material facts and responses thereto [Docs. #35-2, #36-2, #48, #50], and a reply brief [Docs. #58, #59]. The parties agreed to a bench trial on a stipulated record and the written briefing pursuant to Rule 52 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. See Docs. #53, #55.
The Court conducted a bench trial on August 11, 2022. See Doc. #60.
At trial, counsel confirmed that their clients consented to a bench trial on the written submissions and waived the right to call witnesses. See Doc. #55; see also O'Hara v. Nat'l Union Fire Ins. Co. of Pittsburgh, PA, 642 F.3d 110, 116 (2d Cir. 2011). During the bench trial the Court raised the question of how the Social Security award might be relevant, and specifically the impact, if any, of the bases of that award. The Court permitted the parties to file supplemental briefing on that issue. On September 8, 2022, plaintiff filed a supplemental brief. See Doc. #63.
Upon consideration of the parties' written briefing, the stipulated record [Doc. #32], and the oral arguments of counsel, the Court AFFIRMS defendant's decision that no further benefits were payable to plaintiff under the Plan.
Outcome: "Judgment shall enter in favor of Unum." Lewis v. First Unum Life Ins. Co. of Am. (D. Conn. 2023)