Guest-Marcotte v. Life Insurance Company Of North America et al
ORDER Overruling Plaintiff's 64 Objections, Adopting 63 Report and Recommendation, Denying Plaintiff's 54 Motion for Judgment, Granting Defendant's 55 Motion for Dismissal and Judgment, Granting Plaintiff's 60 Motion to Review Relevant Case, and Directing Defendant to Submit Proposed Judgment. Signed by District Judge Thomas L. Ludington. (Sian, M)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF MICHIGAN
KIMBERLY J. GUEST-MARCOTTE,
Case No. 15-cv-10738
Honorable Thomas L. Ludington
Magistrate Judge Patricia T. Morris
COMPONENTS, Inc., et al.,
ORDER OVERRULING PLAINTIFF’S OBJECTIONS, ADOPTING THE REPORT
AND RECOMMENDATION, DENYING PLAINTIFF’S MOTION FOR JUDGMENT,
GRANTING DEFENDANT’S MOTION FOR DISMISSAL AND JUDGMENT,
GRANTING PLAINTIFF’S MOTION TO REVIEW RELEVANT CASE, AND
DIRECTING DEFENDANT TO SUBMIT PROPOSED JUDGMENT
Plaintiff Kimberly J. Guest-Marcotte initiated this case by filing her two-count complaint
on February 27, 2015. Complaint, ECF No. 1. Plaintiff alleges that Defendants violated her
rights under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, 29 U.S.C. § 1132(a)(1)(B) and
(a)(2) (“ERISA”) in denying her request for short term disability benefits, and her rights under
Michigan’s Persons with Disabilities Civil Rights Act (“PWDCRA”) in subsequently terminating
her employment. After her state law claim was dismissed, Plaintiff filed a procedural challenge
seeking discovery and a motion for leave to file an amended complaint. ECF Nos. 27, 35. On
February 17, 2016 Magistrate Judge Patricia T. Morris issued a report and recommendation
concluding that the appropriate standard of review was arbitrary and capricious. ECF No. 40.
She also recommended granting in part and denying in part Plaintiff’s motion for leave to file an
amended complaint, and denying Plaintiff’s procedural challenge. By an order dated March 15,
2016 Plaintiff’s objections were overruled, and the magistrate judge’s report and
recommendation was adopted. ECF No. 42.
Plaintiff filed her amended complaint on April 19, 2016. See ECF No. 44. After the
administrative record was filed by Defendants, Plaintiff Guest-Marcotte filed a motion for
judgment and Defendants filed a motion to dismiss the case and for judgment on its
counterclaim. See ECF No. 54, 55. Following the completion of briefing, Plaintiff then filed a
motion requesting that the Court consider a recent and relevant Sixth Circuit case. See ECF No.
60. On December 1, 2016 the magistrate judge issued her report, recommending that Plaintiff’s
motion for consideration be granted, but that her motion for judgment be denied. See ECF No.
63. The report also recommends granting Defendant’s motion for judgment and dismissing
Plaintiff’s complaint with prejudice. Plaintiff timely objected. See ECF No. 64.
The Magistrate Judge summarized the relevant background of this case in her February
report and recommendation. For this reason, and because neither party has objected to this
summary, it is adopted in full.
Pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 72, a party may object to and seek review of
a Magistrate Judge’s report and recommendation. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 72(b)(2). Objections must
be stated with specificity. Thomas v. Arn, 474 U.S. 140, 151 (1985) (citation omitted). If
objections are made, “[t]he district judge must determine de novo any part of the magistrate
judge’s disposition that has been properly objected to.” Fed. R. Civ. P. 72(b)(3). De novo review
requires at least a review of the evidence before the Magistrate Judge; the Court may not act
solely on the basis of a Magistrate Judge’s report and recommendation. See Hill v. Duriron Co.,
656 F.2d 1208, 1215 (6th Cir. 1981). After reviewing the evidence, the Court is free to accept,
reject, or modify the findings or recommendations of the Magistrate Judge. See Lardie v. Birkett,
221 F. Supp. 2d 806, 807 (E.D. Mich. 2002).
Only those objections that are specific are entitled to a de novo review under the statute.
Mira v. Marshall, 806 F.2d 636, 637 (6th Cir. 1986). “The parties have the duty to pinpoint those
portions of the magistrate’s report that the district court must specially consider.” Id. (internal
quotation marks and citation omitted). A general objection, or one that merely restates the
arguments previously presented, does not sufficiently identify alleged errors on the part of the
magistrate judge. See VanDiver v. Martin, 304 F.Supp.2d 934, 937 (E. D. Mich. 2004). An
“objection” that does nothing more than disagree with a magistrate judge’s determination,
“without explaining the source of the error,” is not considered a valid objection. Howard v. Sec’y
of Health and Human Servs., 932 F.2d 505, 509 (6th Cir. 1991). Without specific objections,
“[t]he functions of the district court are effectively duplicated as both the magistrate and the
district court perform identical tasks. This duplication of time and effort wastes judicial resources
rather than saving them, and runs contrary to the purposes of the Magistrate’s Act.” Id.
Plaintiff now raises three objections to the magistrate judge’s report and
recommendation: (1) the Plan/LICNA erred in using the wrong disability standard; (2) Plaintiff
presented sufficient medical evidence to establish she was disabled under the plan; and (3) the
Plan/LICNA erred in declining to request a physical examination of Plaintiff. See ECF No. 64.
The objections raised by Plaintiff are not proper objections in that they are general, restate the
core arguments previously raised and already addressed by the magistrate, and amount to nothing
more than disagreement with the magistrate judge’s conclusions. Because Plaintiff’s objections
impermissibly attempt to reargue the entire case, they will be overruled.
Accordingly, it is ORDERED that Plaintiff Guest-Marcotte’s objections, ECF No. 64,
It is further ORDERED that the report and recommendation, ECF No. 63, is
It is further ORDERED that Plaintiff Guest Marcotte’s motion for judgment, ECF No.
54, is DENIED.
It is further ORDERED that Defendants’ motion for dismissal and judgment, ECF No.
55, is GRANTED.
It is further ORDERED that Plaintiff Guest-Marcotte’s motion for consideration of
recent Sixth Circuit Precedent, ECF No. 60, is GRANTED.
It is further ORDERED that Defendant is DIRECTED to submit a proposed judgment
in compliance with Eastern District of Michigan Local Rule 58.1(c).
s/Thomas L. Ludington
THOMAS L. LUDINGTON
United States District Judge
Dated: January 6, 2017
PROOF OF SERVICE
The undersigned certifies that a copy of the foregoing order was served
upon each attorney or party of record herein by electronic means or first
class U.S. mail on January 6, 2017.
s/Michael A. Sian
MICHAEL A. SIAN, Case Manager
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