Norris v. Kroger Company et al

Filing 45

ORDER that Defendant shall have thirty (30) days from the date of this order to file a copy of The Kroger Co.'s 2011 Short-Term Disability Plan and any revised or amended versions thereof with the Court. Signed by Judge Steven P. Logan on 8/7/14. (CLB)

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1 WO 2 3 4 5 6 IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 7 FOR THE DISTRICT OF ARIZONA 8 Lee Norris, 9 10 Plaintiff, vs. 11 12 The Kroger Co., et al., Defendants. 13 14 ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) No. CV-14-00251-PHX-SPL ORDER 15 Before the Court is Plaintiff’s Motion for Leave to File First Amended Complaint. 16 (Doc. 32.) Plaintiff seeks to bring an additional claim against Defendants for failing to 17 comply with the disclosure requirements of the Employee Retirement Income Security 18 Act (“ERISA”). (Doc. 32-1 at ¶ 53-57.) Plaintiff indicates that after Defendant denied 19 him benefits under its short-term disability plan, he requested a copy of the complete 20 Short-Term Disability Plan (“Plan”) on multiple occasions; however, Defendant has only 21 provided him a two-page information sheet about the Plan. (Doc. 32 at 2; Doc. 32-1 at ¶ 22 34-40.) 23 Defendant opposes the motion on the basis that Plaintiff has no legal claim for 24 relief because the Plan under which Plaintiff was denied benefits is not governed by 25 ERISA. (Doc. 34 at 4-7.) Defendants also claim that they have already provided 26 Plaintiff a copy of all available documentation. (Doc. 34 at 7-8; Doc. 34-1 at 2-4.) 27 Upon review of the record, the Court finds that in order to rule on Plaintiff’s 28 motion and determine whether leave to file an amended complaint is warranted, a full and 1 complete copy of the Plan is necessary. Although Defendants claim they have provided 2 the requested Plan to Plaintiff, it is evident from the record that Defendant has only 3 provided Plaintiff a two-page summary sheet containing an overview of the short-term 4 disability benefits Defendants provide to their employees. (See Doc. 34-1 at 2-4.) It is 5 also evident that a more detailed document exists, as the summary sheet expressly notes: 6 7 8 9 This document includes highlights of The Kroger Co.’s 2011 Short-Term Disability Plan. Every effort has been made to provide accurate information. A complete description of each benefit option can be found in the plans’ legal documents and contracts. In the event of a conflict between this and any other descriptions of the plan, the formal plan documents and insurance contracts will control. 10 11 (Id.) Further, the summary sheet directs employees to contact the company’s Human 12 Resources Department to obtain more information on the company’s family medical 13 leave and short-term disability policies and to receive a copy of the company’s short-term 14 disability summary plan description. (Id.) Accordingly, 15 IT IS ORDERED that Defendant shall have thirty (30) days from the date of this 16 order to file a copy of The Kroger Co.’s 2011 Short-Term Disability Plan and any revised 17 or amended versions thereof with the Court. 18 Dated this 7th day of August, 2014. 19 20 Honorable Steven P. Logan United States District Judge 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 2

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