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GREAT WEST LIFE AND ANNUITY INSURANCE CO. v. MOORE

February 21, 2001

GREAT WEST LIFE AND ANNUITY INSURANCE CO. AND CHICAGO ROLL COMPANY, PLAINTIFFS,
v.
DAVID MOORE, A MINOR, AND HIS FATHER AND NEXT FRIEND, LARRY MOORE; HIS MOTHER AND NEXT FRIEND, LINDA MOORE; AND OAK BROOK BANK, DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: John W. Darrah, Judge, United States District Court

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

Plaintiffs Great-West Life and Annuity Insurance Co. and Chicago Roll Company ("Plaintiffs") have filed a complaint against Defendants David Moore, Larry Moore, Linda Moore, and Oak Brook Bank ("Defendants") for reimbursement under an employee benefit plan covered by the Employment Retirement Security Act ("ERISA"). Plaintiffs have moved for summary judgment pursuant to FED.R.CIV.P. 56. For the reasons that follow, the Court GRANTS Plaintiffs' Motion for Summary Judgment.

LEGAL STANDARD

Summary judgment is appropriate when there remains no genuine issue of material fact and the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c); Cincinnati Ins. Co. v. Flanders Elec. Motor Serv., Inc., 40 F.3d 146, 150 (7th Cir. 1994). "One of the principal purposes of the summary judgment rule is to isolate and dispose of factually unsupported claims or defenses . . ." Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323 (1986). Thus, although the moving party on a motion for summary judgment is responsible for demonstrating to the Court why there is no genuine issue of material fact, the non-moving party must go beyond the face of the pleadings, affidavits, depositions, answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file to demonstrate through specific evidence that there remains a genuine issue of material fact and show that a rational jury could return a verdict in the non-moving party's favor. Celotex, 477 U.S. at 322-27; Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 254-56 (1986); Matsushita Elec. Industrial Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 586-87 (1986); Waldridge v. American Hoechst Corp., 24 F.3d 918, 923 (7th Cir. 1994).

Disputed facts are material when they might affect the outcome of the suit. First Int'l Bank v. Baker, 957 F.2d 506, 507-08 (7th Cir. 1992). When reviewing a motion for summary judgment, a court must view all inferences to be drawn from the facts in the light most favorable to the opposing party. Anderson, 477 U.S. at 247-48; Popovits v. Circuit City Stores, Inc., 185 F.3d 726, 731 (7th Cir. 1999). However, a metaphysical doubt will not suffice. Matsushita, 475 U.S. at 586. If the evidence is merely colorable or is not significantly probative or is no more than a scintilla, summary judgment may be granted. Anderson, 477 U.S. at 249-250.

BACKGROUND

The undisputed facts taken from the parties' Local Rule 56.1(a) & (b) statements of material facts (referred to herein as "Pl.'s 56.1" and "Def.'s 56.1") and exhibits are as follows.

Defendant David Moore is a minor. He was born on November 12, 1988. Defendant Linda Moore is David's mother. She has had sole legal custody of David throughout the events which form the basis of this lawsuit

On May 8, 1998, David Moore was struck by a motor vehicle while crossing the intersection of County Farm Road and Deforest in Hanover Park, Illinois. David's medical expenses arising from the accident exceed $150,000. On April 5, 1999, David Moore, through his mother, settled his claim against the driver of the motor vehicle for the sum of $100,000. This settlement represented the monetary limit of the driver's insurance coverage; $25,000 of this amount went to pay David's attorney. This settlement represents David's only legal recovery from the accident.

As Linda Moore's son, David Moore was a covered person in the Health and Welfare Plan for Employees and Dependents of Chicago Roll Company ("the Plan"). The Plan is covered by ERISA., 29 U.S.C. § 1001, et seq. In connection with the injuries David suffered from the accident, the Plan paid medical benefits on behalf of David in the amount of $71,464.31. This money was paid prior to January 1, 1999. At the time of this payment, the Plan included a provision entitled, "Provision for Subrogation and Right of Recovery." Defendants have contended that the plan in effect at the time of the payment did not include a subrogation provision. In statement 5 of Plaintiffs "Separate Statement of Undisputed Material Facts," Plaintiff stated that the Plan included the provisions referenced here. Defendant has not denied this statement. The relevant provisions are as follows:

An Other Party may be liable or legally responsible to pay expenses, compensation and/or damages in relation to an illness, a sickness, or a bodily injury incurred by you or one of your covered Dependents (a "covered person")

An Other Party is defined to include, but is not limited to, any of the following:

• the party or parties who caused the illness, sickness or bodily injury;

• the insurer or other indemnifier of the party or parties who caused the illness, ...

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