United States District Court, D. Oregon
SHERRY F. ROBERTSON, Plaintiff,
STANDARD INSURANCE COMPANY, Defendant.
Michael D. Grabhorn GRABHORN LAW OFFICE, PLLC, MEGAN E. GLOR
ATTORNEYS AT LAW, Megan E. Glor MEGAN E. GLOR ATTORNEYS AT
LAW Attorneys for Plaintiff
M. Altschul BUCHANAN ANGELI ALTSCHUL & SULLIVAN LLP,
Jacqueline J. Herring Warren Sebastian von Schleicher SMITTH,
VON SCHLEICHER & ASSOCIATES Attorneys for Defendant
OPINION & ORDER
A. HERNÁNDEZ, United States District Judge
Standard Insurance Company moves for summary judgment and
entry of a final order terminating this case as a matter of
law. Plaintiff Sherry F. Robertson's case against
Defendant has proceeded in this Court over the past three
years. Because Plaintiff has already received all the relief
she is due, the Court grants Defendant's motion for
September 30, 2015, this Court granted summary judgment to
Plaintiff in her action against Defendant under the Employee
Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (“ERISA”).
Robertson v. Standard Ins. Co., 139 F.Supp.3d 1190
(D. Or. 2015). The Court found that Defendant abused its
discretion when it terminated Plaintiff's long-term
disability (“LTD”) insurance benefits and
waiver-of-premium of a life insurance policy benefit.
Id. at 1193. The Court concluded that Defendant fell
far short of fulfilling its fiduciary duty to Plaintiff.
Id. at 1210. As the Court explained, Defendant's
denial of Plaintiff's claim was the result of the failure
to conduct an independent medical examination, the failure to
fully consider a contrary SSA determination, the failure to
provide Defendant's independent experts with all of the
relevant evidence, and the unjustified reliance on an
unreasonable Functional Capacity Evaluation. Id.
November 20, 2015, this Court entered a judgment in which it
ordered Plaintiff's long-term disability benefits
reinstated effective October 18, 2013 and awarded for the
remainder of the “Own Occupation” period.
Judgment, ECF 43. However, as to Plaintiff's claim for
long-term disability benefits under the “Any
Occupation” definition of disability, the Court
remanded the case to Defendant for an administrative
determination. Id. In a separately issued Opinion
& Order, the Court explained that the administrative
record had not been adequately developed regarding the
“Any Occupation” standard. O&O, Nov. 13,
2015, ECF 42.
later, on November 4, 2016, this Court granted
Plaintiff's motion to reopen the case because Defendant
had failed to timely render a decision on Plaintiff's
right to receive disability benefits under the “Any
Occupation” standard. Robertson v. Standard Ins.
Co., 218 F.Supp.3d 1165 (D. Or. 2016). The Court set a
deadline for Plaintiff to file an amended complaint. Sched.
Order, ECF 56.
December 16, 2016, Plaintiff filed an amended complaint in
which she asserts four claims: (1) breach of contract,
enforceable through 29 U.S.C. § 1132(a)(1)(B); breach of
fiduciary duty, enforceable through 29 U.S.C. §
1132(a)(3); (3) disgorgement, enforceable through 29 U.S.C.
§ 1132(a)(1)(B) and 1132(a)(3); and (4) attorneys'
fees and costs, pursuant to 29 U.S.C. § 1132(g).
January 25, 2017, Defendant concluded its administrative
review and approved Plaintiff's disability claim under
the “Any Occupation” standard. Def.'s Mot.
Ex. A, ECF 68-1. Defendant paid Plaintiff all benefits due,
attorneys' fees and costs in full, and prejudgment
interest. Def.'s Mot. Ex. B, ECF 68-2.
judgment is appropriate if there is no genuine dispute as to
any material fact and the moving party is entitled to
judgment as a matter of law. Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). The moving
party bears the initial responsibility of informing the court
of the basis of its motion, and identifying those portions of
“‘the pleadings, depositions, answers to
interrogatories, and admissions on file, together with the
affidavits, if any, ' which it believes demonstrate the
absence of a genuine issue of material fact.”
Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323 (1986)
(quoting Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c)).
the moving party meets its initial burden of demonstrating
the absence of a genuine issue of material fact, the burden
then shifts to the nonmoving party to present “specific
facts” showing a “genuine issue for trial.”
Fed. Trade Comm'n v. Stefanchik, 559 F.3d 924,
927-28 (9th Cir. 2009) (internal quotation marks omitted).
The nonmoving party must go beyond the pleadings and
designate facts showing an issue for trial. Bias v.
Moynihan, 508 F.3d 1212, 1218 (9th Cir. 2007) (citing
Celotex, 477 U.S. at 324).
substantive law governing a claim determines whether a fact
is material. Suever v. Connell, 579 F.3d 1047, 1056
(9th Cir. 2009). The court draws inferences from the facts in
the light most favorable to the nonmoving party. Earl v.