Hare v. Liberty Life Assurance Company of Boston et al

Filing 38

ORDER granting 34 Motion for Attorney Fees. Defendants shall pay Hare and her lawyer the agreed-upon amount by February 14, 2014. Signed by Judge D. P. Marshall Jr. on 1/16/14. (kpr)

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IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT EASTERN DISTRICT OF ARKANSAS WESTERN DIVISION RUTH ANN HARE v. PLAINTIFF No. 4:13-cv-87-DPM LIBERTY LIFE ASSURANCE CO. OF BOSTON; L'OREAL USA INC.; and L'OREAL USA LONG TERM DISABILITY PLAN DEFENDANTS ORDER Hare's motion for attorney's fees and costs, NQ 34, is granted. There's no good reason to wait for a decision on remand. Hare has had some success on the merits- she achieved a comprehensive re-evaluation of her claim, not a remand just to correct some procedural tangle. Hardt v. Reliance Standard Life Insurance Company, 560 U.S. 242, 255-56 (2010); Greenwald v. Liberty Life Assurance Company of Boston, 932 F. Supp. 2d 1018, 1052 (D. Neb. 2013). The Court sees no bad faith in Liberty Life's denial of long-term benefits to Hare. But all the other Westerhaus factors weigh in favor of awarding an attorney's fee and costs. Lawrence v. Westerhaus, 749 F.2d 494,495-96 (8th Cir. 1984)(per curiam); see also Martin v. Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield, 299 F.3d 966,97273 (8th Cir. 2002)(en bane). Liberty Life can pay the fee without hardship; awarding a fee will encourage Liberty Life and other plan administrators not to make similar mistakes in other fibromyalgia cases, which should be recognized as posing special challenges; and Hare prevailed in getting further review for her claim. The parties have agreed on the amount of fees and costs. Ng 37 at 1. Defendants shall pay Hare and her lawyer the agreed-upon amount by 14 February 2014. So Ordered. t/ D.P. Marshall Jr. United States District Judge -2-

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