Freeman v. Local 1199
MEMORANDUM DECISION AND ORDER, The fund, 1199SEIU Health Care Employees Pension Fund, has appeared for the purposes of defending the action and is hereby substituted as deft. The Pension Fund's rejection of pltff's claim was not arbitrary a nd capricious; indeed, it was the only determination possible on this record. The 12 Motion for Summary Judgment is therefore granted and the case is dismissed. The Clerk is directed to amend the caption of this case as set forth above and enter final judgment in favor of deft. (Ordered by Judge Brian M. Cogan on 3/28/2012) c/m by chambers. Fwd. for Judgment. (Galeano, Sonia)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK
MAR 3 0 2012
DECISION AND ORDER
CURTIS L. FREEMAN,
I I Civ, 6138 (BMC)(JO)
-against!199SEIU HEALTH CARE EMPLOYEES
COGAN, District Judge.
Plaintiff has mistakenly named his local union chapter when he meant to sue the local
union's pension fund for failing to properly compute his entitlements under a defined benefit
pension plan. The fund, 1199SEIU Health Care Employees Pension Fund, has appeared for the
purposes of defending the action and is hereby substituted as defendant. The Pension Fund has
moved for summary judgment, and the motion must be granted.
Plaintiff claims that because he worked for various health care institutions for a
cumulative period of sixteen years, he has satisfied the Pension Fund's ten year minimum service
requirement, and his interest as a plan participant has vested. However, the Pension Fund has
rejected his claim because its records show that only one of plaintiffs employers, New York
Downtown Hospital (flk/a Beekman Downtown Hospital), was a contributing employer to the
Pension Fund, and plaintiff only worked there for seven years, nine months, and thus does not
have the ten years' service required for vesting under the plan. Plaintiff does not contest that
fact; rather, he contends that the combination of his New York Downtown Hospital Service and
his subsequent eight
year emp1oyment at Accumed Scientific Corp should
count towards the ten
years employment required for plan benefits to vest
The Pension Fund responds that Accumed
not, and never was a contrib f
u mg emp oyer to the plan, and that plaintiff in fact has admitted
that his work for Accumed was not a "union job.,
My review of the Pension Fund's determination 1"s de'erenti"al. PI amtiff can only prevail
in this Court if he shows that the Pension Fund's determination was arbitrary and capricious.
See Firestone Tire & Rubber Co. v. Bruch, 489 U.S. 101 (1989). In support of its motion, the
Pension Fund has submitted the plan and the records of plaintiffs employment. These
documents substantiate the Pension Fund's determination. Plaintiff, in contrast, has submitted
nothing other a conclusory assertion that he thinks his non-covered work should count.
The Pension Fund's rejection of his claim was not arbitrary and capricious; indeed, it was
the only determination possible on this record. The motion for summary judgment is therefore
granted and the case is dismissed. The Clerk is directed to amend the caption of this case as set
forth above and enter final judgment in favor of defendant.
Dated: Brooklyn, New York
March 28, 2012
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