Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Not Final. A plaintiff was seeking long-term disability benefits. The plan administrator held that he was not entitled to them, and he appealed that determination to the District Court. The District Court remanded the case to the plan administrator to reconsider the eligibility of the plaintiff for long-term disability benefits under the correct emplyment description . (The record was unclear whether the correct job description had been used by the plan administrator.) That decision was appealed. The Court held that it was not a final judgment. There is a dispute among the circuits as to whether a remand to a claims administrator under ERISA can ber be a final decision and had never been decided by the Second Circuit. But the Court held that under the law of any circuit, this remand order would not be appealable. No legal question had been decided by the district court The district court had not found the denial of benefits to be erroneous nor was an error of law embedded in the denial. The remand was made because the factual record was unclear as to whether the defendant had considered plaintiff's correct job description while applying the correct and undisputed legal standard. The appeal was dismissed for lack of appellate jurisdiction.

The decision in Viglietta v. Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. can be found here.

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