Moyer v. Metropolitan Life Ins. Co

As a Solvay employee Moyer participated in Solvay’s ERISA- governed Long Term Disability Plan. In 2005 MetLife initially approved Moyer’s claim for benefits. MetLife reversed its decision in 2007 after determining that Moyer retained the physical capacity to perform work other than his former job. In an administrative appeal, MetLife affirmed the revocation on June 20, 2008. Moyer’s adverse benefit determination letter included notice of the right to judicial review but failed to include notice that a three-year contractual time limit applied. The Summary Plan Description failed to provide notice of either Moyer’s right to judicial review or the applicable time limit. On February 20, 2012, Moyer sued MetLife, seeking recovery of unpaid plan benefits under 29 U.S.C. 1132(a)(1)(B). The district court held that the plan’s limitations period barred Moyer’s claim, noting that the plan documents—which were not sent to participants unless requested—stated that there was a three-year limitations period for filing suit, so that MetLife provided Moyer with constructive notice of the contractual time limit. The Sixth Circuit reversed. Exclusion of the judicial review time limits from the adverse benefit determination letter was inconsistent with ensuring a fair opportunity for review and rendered the letter not in substantial compliance. View "Moyer v. Metropolitan Life Ins. Co" on Justia Law