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