The opinion of the court was delivered by: Richard Mills, District Judge:
This cause is before the Court on remand from the United
States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.
The Plaintiff originally brought suit in this Court alleging
a violation of § 510 of ERISA (the Employee Retirement Income
Security Act, 29 U.S.C. § 1140), and breach of contract and
breach of an implied covenant of good faith by the Defendant.
This Court entered summary judgment for the Defendant on the
On appeal, the Seventh Circuit affirmed this Court's entry
of summary judgment for the Defendant, but found that although
the Plaintiff had failed to assert a claim for relief under
§ 502(a)(1)(B) and § 503 of ERISA, the complaint raised
allegations that might support a recovery under those sections
of ERISA. See generally, Tolle v. Carroll Touch, Inc.,
977 F.2d 1129 (7th Cir. 1992). Consequently, the Seventh Circuit
remanded the case to this Court for a determination of whether
the Plaintiff's claims under § 502(a)(1)(B) and § 503 of ERISA
are barred by any statute of limitations, and if not, then
whether the Plaintiff is entitled to relief under §
502(a)(1)(B) and § 503 of ERISA. Id. at 1142.
In accordance with the opinion of the Seventh Circuit, this
Court directed the parties to file motions for summary
judgment concerning whether the Plaintiff is entitled to
relief under § 502(a)(1)(B) and § 503 of ERISA. The parties
have since filed their motions for summary judgment, and the
Court now addresses those motions.
The Plaintiff had previously been diagnosed with a mild
heart condition, and on October 1, 1984 the Plaintiff's
physician, Dr. Bloomfield, diagnosed the condition as
rheumatic mitral stenosis. On that same day, and as a result
of the diagnosis, the Plaintiff made an oral request for a
medical leave of absence. On October 10, 1984, the Plaintiff
met with the Defendant's personnel manager and obtained a
claim form, which she promptly completed. The claim form was
then given to Ploeger and Associates, the company that managed
the Defendant's employee benefit plans. Ploeger and Associates
forwarded the claim form to the Plaintiff's physician to
obtain certification that the Plaintiff was disabled.
However, due to the Plaintiff's mild heart condition, Dr.
Bloomfield would not certify the Plaintiff as being disabled.
Consequently, on November 8, 1984, Ploeger and Associates
wrote to the Plaintiff and informed her that her claim for a
leave of absence due to disability could not be processed
because Dr. Bloomfield had not certified that the Plaintiff
was disabled. Ploeger and Associates advised the Plaintiff
that if she wished to pursue the matter, she should discuss it
with Dr. Bloomfield and then resubmit a claim form to the
company. However, the Plaintiff never contacted Dr. Bloomfield
again to discover why he had not certified her as disabled,
nor did she contact any other physician for a disability
After October of 1984, the Plaintiff did nothing more to
pursue her disability claim until she contacted the Defendant
in January of 1988. Then, it was not until September of 1989
that the Plaintiff filed her lawsuit against the Defendant.
The Plaintiff now has only two claims for review by this
Under Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c), summary judgment shall be granted
if the record shows that "there is no genuine issue as to any
material fact and that the moving party is entitled to a
judgment as a matter of law." Black v. Henry Pratt Co.,
778 F.2d 1278, 1281 (7th Cir. 1985). The moving party has the
burden of showing the absence of a genuine issue of material
fact. Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 325, 106 S.Ct.
2548, 2553-54, 91 L.Ed.2d 265 (1986). A genuine issue of
material fact exists when "there is sufficient evidence
favoring the nonmoving party for a jury to return a verdict for
that party." Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242,
249, 106 S.Ct. 2505, 2510-11, 91 L.Ed.2d 202 (1986). In
determining whether a genuine issue of a material fact exists,
the evidence is to be taken in the light most favorable to the
non-moving party. Adickes v. S.H. Kress & Co., 398 U.S. 144,
157, 90 S.Ct. 1598, 1608, 26 L.Ed.2d 142 (1970). Once the
moving party has ...