Barboza v. CA Assoc. of Prof’l Firefighters, et al.

Plaintiff filed an action against defendants (collectively, the Plan) for refusing to pay certain long-term disability benefits. At issue was whether the district court erred in granting summary judgment for defendants and dismissed plaintiff's claims without prejudice due to his failure to exhaust available administrative remedies under the Plan. The court held that the district court adopted the Plan's reading of ERISA, 29 C.F.R. 250.503-1(i) without the benefit of the Secretary of Labor's interpretation of that provision. Therefore, deferring to the Secretary's plausible approach, the court held that where a claimant sought review of his or her disability claims, the quarterly meeting rule was restricted to multiemployer plans. Accordingly, the Plan was required to render a decision within 90 days of plaintiff's administrative appeal and failed to do so. Consequently, plaintiff's claims must be deemed exhausted and the judgment was reversed and remanded. View "Barboza v. CA Assoc. of Prof'l Firefighters, et al." on Justia Law