ERISA-Ninth Circuit Rules That Plaintiff Was Not Entitled To Employer-Paid Pre-Age 65 Medical Benefits

In Roschewski v. Raytheon Company, No. 10-56110 (9th Cir.2012) (Unpublished Opinion), the plaintiff, Verlyn Roschewski (“Roschewski”) , was appealing from the district court’s summary judgment against him, in his claim that the defendant and former employer, Raytheon Company, had improperly required him to pay medical insurance premiums for pre-age 65 health coverage in violation of ERISA.

In reviewing the case, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals (the “Court”) found that the district court had properly granted summary judgment because Roschewski failed to raise a genuine dispute of material fact as to whether an “ERISA-governed benefit plan document” established his and his spouse’s right to premium-free medical care until age 65. Generally, such a right can be established only by contract under the terms of such a document. Accordingly, the Court affirmed the district court’s decision.

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