Schorsch v. Reliance Standard Life Ins. Co.
Court: U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Opinion Date: August 28, 2012
Areas of Law: ERISA, Insurance Law
Schorsch enrolled in a long-term disability plan in 1991, but apparently never received a summary plan description or explanation of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, 29 U.S.C.1132. In 1992 she was in an automobile accident; in 1993 Schorsch began receiving disability benefits. In 2006, at the plan’s request, Schorsch underwent a medical exam, which resulted in a report finding her capable of performing a medium duty job. The plan notified Schorsch that it would terminate her benefits, but did not mention a surveillance report, which was part of the determination. , Schorsch’s counsel sent a letter, but neither Schorsch nor her attorney submitted a request for review. The plan notified Schorsch that the appeals period had passed. Schorsch’s claimed breach of contract and unreasonable denial of benefits under Illinois law and ERISA violations. The plan had lost the administrative record relating to Schorsch’s claim. The district court granted summary judgment on the ground of failure to exhaust administrative remedies. The Seventh Circuit affirmed. There are exceptions that may excuse a failure to exhaust, but Schorsch offered no evidence of reasonable reliance on information missing from the notice or that alleged deficiencies were material.