Interference with Benefits

The First Circuit recently applied an abuse of discretion standard of review to a claim for top hat plan benefits. Plaintiff Robert Niebauer, a former executive of Crane, brought a claim for executive severance plan benefits and a claim under ERISA section 510 for interference with his rights to benefits.  The district court granted summary judgment in favor of Crane on both claims, finding that the denial was not arbitrary or capricious, and there was no adverse employment action to support his interference claim. 

In Gaglioti v. Levin Group, Inc., No. 11–3744, 2012 WL 6217365 (6th Cir. Dec. 13, 2012), the Sixth Circuit affirmed summary judgment dismissing ERISA Section 510 and disability discrimination claims, but reversed as to age discrimination claims. Upon hiring, Plaintiff was immediately given health benefits. A few months later, shortly after disclosing health problems