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Gillette v. Wilson Sonsini Group Welfare Benefit Plan

United States District Court, D. Oregon

October 31, 2014

SALLY A. GILLETTE, Plaintiff,
v.
THE WILSON SONSINI GROUP WELFARE BENEFIT PLAN; CIGNA CORPORATION; CONNECTICUT GENERAL LIFE INSURANCE COMPANY; CIGNA HEALTHCARE OF CALIFORNIA; BETTY LYDDON, in her capacity as fiduciary to the Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati Group Welfare Plan; and DONALD E. BRADLEY, in his capacity as fiduciary to the Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati Group Welfare Plan, Defendants.

SALLY A. GILLETTE, Portland, OR, Plaintiff, Pro Se.

WILLIAM T. PATTON, COZETTE T. TRAN-CAFFEE, Lane Powell, PC, Portland, OR, Attorneys for Defendants.

OPINION AND ORDER

ANNA J. BROWN, District Judge.

This matter comes before the Court on Defendants' Motion (#20) to Dismiss and Plaintiff's Request (#32) for Judicial Notice. For the reasons that follow, the Court GRANTS Plaintiff's Request and GRANTS Defendants' Motion.

BACKGROUND

The following facts are taken from Plaintiff's Complaint and the documents of which the Court takes judicial notice.

Plaintiff Sally A. Gillette was a participant at all relevant times in the Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati Welfare Benefit Plan (WSGR Plan) sponsored by Plaintiff's former employer, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, a law firm in Palo Alto, California. Prior to 1998 Plaintiff's son Jesse Gillette was also a participant in the WSGR Plan.

At some point in 1998 when Plaintiff's son Jesse Gillette reached age 19, Defendants terminated Jesse Gillette's coverage under the WSGR Plan. Plaintiff then entered into a protracted dispute with Defendants regarding the termination of Jesse Gillette's coverage.

At some point before February 24, 2003, Plaintiff and Defendants resolved the dispute related to Jesse Gillette's coverage, and Defendants reinstated his coverage under the WSGR Plan retroactive for four years.

Less than one year after Jesse Gillette's coverage was reinstated, he married and Defendants terminated his coverage under the WSGR Plan. Jesse Gillette, however, obtained "COBRA continuation coverage under the Plan."

On June 7, 2006, Jesse Gillette died.

In 2008 Plaintiff, acting as the personal representative of Jesse Gillette's estate, filed a wrongful-death and medical-malpractice action against Jesse Gillette's healthcare providers[1] in Clackamas County Circuit Court.

On April 2, 2010, Plaintiff settled the wrongful-death and medical-malpractice case for $300, 000. Defendant Connecticut General Life Insurance Company (CGLIC) and the WSGR Plan asserted a subrogation lien in connection with the wrongful-death and medical-malpractice case. On May 12, 2010, Plaintiff received notice of the subrogation lien.

On July 1, 2010, Plaintiff, acting pro se, served a Notice of Disallowance on the WSGR Plan and Defendant Cigna Healthcare of California, Inc. (CHC) in which Plaintiff notified them that their subrogation claim would be disallowed as invalid on August 1, 2010.

On July 26, 2010, Plaintiff filed a Petition for Approval of Final Distribution of Settlement Funds in Clackamas County Circuit Court in which she noted the subrogation lien had been resolved and CGLIC and the WSGR Plan waived their claim to the settlement proceeds.

On August 12, 2010, the court approved the final distribution of settlement funds.

On February 11, 2014, Plaintiff filed an action in this Court against the WSGR Plan, CIGNA Corporation, CGLIC, CHC, and others alleging Defendants breached their fiduciary duty under various provisions of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), 29 U.S.C. § 1001, et seq. Specifically, Plaintiff alleges Defendants breached their fiduciary duty when they violated (1) 29 U.S.C. § 1162(3) (A) by improperly calculating the premium for Jesse Gillette's COBRA continuation coverage and (2) 29 U.S.C. §§ 1103, 1104, and 1106 by asserting a subrogation lien on the settlement of Plaintiff's state-court wrongful-death action.

On July 18, 2014, Defendants filed a Motion to Dismiss Plaintiff's claims.

On October 10, 2014, Plaintiff filed a Request for Judicial Notice. The Court took Defendants' Motion and Plaintiff's Request under advisement on October 21, 2014.

PLAINTIFF'S REQUEST FOR JUDICIAL NOTICE

Plaintiff requests the Court take judicial notice of various documents filed in probate court during the pendency of the probate of Jessie Gillette's estate.

I. Standards

Federal Rule of Evidence 201 allows a court to take judicial notice of facts that can be "accurately and readily determined from sources whose accuracy cannot reasonably be questioned." Fed. R. Evict. 201(b) (2). The court may take judicial notice of documents that are matters of public record. See MGIC Indem. Corp. v. Weisman, 803 F.2d 500, 504 (9th Cir. 1986) (A district court may take "judicial notice of ...


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