Sapp v. Liberty Life Assurance Company of Boston
MEMORANDUM OPINION. Signed by District Judge Liam O'Grady on 9/28/2016. (awac)
IN the united states district court
FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF VIRGINIA
Civil No. l:16-cv-105
Hon. Liam O'Grady
LIBERTY LIFE ASSURANCE COMPANY
This dispute arose when PlaintiffMark Sapp sued Liberty Life Assurance Company of
Boston ("Liberty") under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 ("ERISA")
seeking long-term disability (LTD) benefits due to him under the terms ofhis employee benefit
plan. Because Liberty did not reasonably consider and evaluate the evidence ofMr. Sapp's job
description inits determination ofMr. Sapp's "Own Occupation" and its subsequent denial of
Mr. Sapp's LTD benefits. Liberty's abused its discretion under the Policy. Therefore, for the
reasons thatfollow, Mr. Sapp's motion for summary judgment is granted and Liberty's crossmotion for summary judgment is denied.
Mr. Sapp was employed with Republic National Distributing Company ("Republic") asa
wine salesman. Republic categorized Mr. Sapp's position as "Sales Representative—^Retail"
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