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Case Name Roe v. Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield EE-NY-0267
Docket / Court 7:12-cv-04788-PKC ( S.D.N.Y. )
State/Territory New York
Case Type(s) Equal Employment
Special Collection Same-Sex Marriage
Case Summary
Plaintiff is an employee of St. John's Medical Center who brought suit under §§ 502 and 510 of ERISA (Employee Retirement Income Security Act) when her employer's health care administrator denied coverage to her legal wife. The plaintiff filed a class action suit in the U.S. District Court for ... read more >
Plaintiff is an employee of St. John's Medical Center who brought suit under §§ 502 and 510 of ERISA (Employee Retirement Income Security Act) when her employer's health care administrator denied coverage to her legal wife. The plaintiff filed a class action suit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York on June 19, 2012.

On January 24, 2014, Defendants filed a motion to dismiss, and Plaintiffs filed a cross-motion for a preliminary injunction on the same day.

On May 1, 2014, the Court (Judge Nelson S. Roman) dismissed the case, finding that the clause in the Plaintiff's plan excluding coverage of same-sex spouses was not in conflict with § 510 of ERISA, which says that discrimination against a beneficiary of a plan unlawful. The Court found that ERISA regulates plans but does not dictate terms, and that § 510 has been interpreted primarily to prevent termination of employees right before benefits come due to deny them those benefits.

On May 22, 2014, the Plaintiffs appealed to the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. On January 13, 2015, the Court (Judges José A. Cabranes, Raymond J. Lohier, Jr., and Christopher F. Droney) affirmed the judgment of the District Court and dismissed the case.

On March 6, 2015, costs taxed in the amount of $323.20 were awarded to Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield against Jane Roe.

Darren Miller - 11/27/2012
Claire Lally - 02/22/2015
Megan Dolan - 10/25/2015


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Equal Protection
Discrimination-area
Pay / Benefits
Discrimination-basis
Sexual orientatation
General
Gay/lesbian/transgender
Marriage
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Causes of Action Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), 29 U.S.C. § 1001
Defendant(s) Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield
Plaintiff Description The class of participants in or beneficiaries of Blue Cross Blue Shield insurance, who were or might be denied medical benefits coverage because of an employer's plan that excludes coverage for same-sex spouses.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted No
Prevailing Party Defendant
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief None
Source of Relief None
Form of Settlement None on record
Order Duration not on record
Case Closing Year n/a
Case Ongoing No
Additional Resources
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Case Studies Limited Partnership
http://www.limitedpartnershipmovie.com/
By: Thomas G. Miller
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  Megacases, Diversity, and the Elusive Goal of Workplace Reform
Written: Mar. 01, 2008
By: Nancy Levit (University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law)
Citation: 49 B.C. L. Rev. 367 (2008)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  Second Generation Employment Discrimination: A Structural Approach
By: Susan Sturm (Columbia Law School)
Citation: 101 Colum. L. Rev. 458 (2001)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  United States Government says L.A. Gay Couple’s 1975 Marriage is Valid
The Pride L.A.
Written: Jun. 07, 2016
By: Troy Masters
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

Docket(s)
7:12-cv-4788 (S.D.N.Y.) 03/06/2015
EE-NY-0267-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Class Action Complaint for Relief Under ERISA 06/19/2012
EE-NY-0267-0001.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Opinion & Order 05/01/2014 (2014 WL 1760343) (S.D.N.Y.)
EE-NY-0267-0002.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Summary Order 01/13/2015 (589 Fed.Appx. 8)
EE-NY-0267-0003.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Cabranes, Jose Alberto (Second Circuit, D. Conn., FISCR)
EE-NY-0267-0003
Droney, Christopher Fitzgerald (D. Conn., Second Circuit)
EE-NY-0267-0003
Lohier, Raymond Joseph Jr. (Second Circuit)
EE-NY-0267-0003
Roman, Nelson Stephen (S.D.N.Y.)
EE-NY-0267-0002 | EE-NY-0267-9000
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Cohen, Debra Sue (New York)
EE-NY-0267-0001 | EE-NY-0267-9000
McLaughlin, Randolph M. (New York)
EE-NY-0267-0001 | EE-NY-0267-9000
Norton, Jeffrey Michael (New York)
EE-NY-0267-0001 | EE-NY-0267-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Heffer, Douglas Scott (New York)
EE-NY-0267-9000
Robb, Arthur J. (New York)
EE-NY-0267-9000
Scher, Robert Allen (New York)
EE-NY-0267-9000
Tuteur, Michael J. (Massachusetts)
EE-NY-0267-9000
Other Lawyers None on record

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