August 8, 2014

Stris & Maher Wins Precedent Setting Eighth Circuit Appeal

Abel Silva elected to participate in a life insurance policy through his employee benefits plan in January 2010. After paying premiums for six months, Abel died. When his father Salvador sought to recover his benefits, Metropolitan Life Insurance Company denied the claim, asserting that Abel did not actually have a policy because he had not provided required medical paperwork. Salvador brought suit against MetLife and Abel’s employer, Savvis Communications Corporation. The district court denied relief, and Salvador retained Stris & Maher to represent him in the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals.

The Eighth Circuit found that Salvador had viable claims against both Savvis and MetLife. Salvador has claims against Savvis for breaching its fiduciary duty as Plan Administrator to make clear what paperwork was required to trigger coverage and against MetLife for wrongfully denying benefits that were owed under the terms of the employee benefit plan.
Oral Argument Audio | Opinion
Opening Brief | Appellees’ Brief | Reply Brief | U.S. Brief