Gibson v. Alcoa, Inc. et al

Filing 41

ORDER granting 24 Motion for De Novo Review. Signed by Honorable Harry F. Barnes on July 19, 2010. (lw)

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Gibson v. Alcoa, Inc. et al Doc. 41 IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT WESTERN DISTRICT OF ARKANSAS EL DORADO DIVISION EDDIE L. GIBSON PLAINTIFF VS. CASE NO. 08-CV-1039 ALCOA, INC., SAPA EXTRUSIONS, INC. A/K/A/ SAPA FABRICATED PRODUCTS, HEWITT ASSOCIATES and METLIFE GROUP, INC. DEFENDANTS ORDER Before the Court is Plaintiff's Motion for De Novo Review. (Doc. No. 24). In the motion, Plaintiff asks the Court to apply a de novo standard of review in this case. The Defendants have responded conceding that de novo is the appropriate standard of review to be applied. (Doc. No. 29). The matter is ripe for consideration. The Plaintiff in this matter seeks relief under the provisions of 29 U.S.C. 1132 claiming that the Plaintiff is due benefits under the terms of an ERISA plan. The Supreme Court has held that "a denial of benefits challenged under 1132(a)(1)(B) is to be reviewed under a de novo standard unless the benefit plan give the administrator or fiduciary discretionary authority to determine eligibility for benefits or to construe the terms of the plan." Firestone Tire & Rubber Co. v. Bruch, 489 U.S. 101, 115, 109 S.Ct. 948, 956-57, 103 L.Ed.2d 80 (1989). In this case, the benefit plan does not give the plan administrator, MetLife, discretionary authority to determine eligibility for benefits or to construe the terms of the plan. Therefore, the Court must review the denial of benefits in this case under a de novo standard. Accordingly, the Court finds that Plaintiff's pending Motion for De Novo Review should be and hereby is granted. IT IS SO ORDERED, this 19th day of July, 2010. /s/Harry F. Barnes Hon. Harry F. Barnes United States District Judge

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