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Verizon Must Face $500,000 Life Insurance Suit, 2d Cir. Rules

June 1, 2020, 6:09 PM

The daughter of a deceased telephone company worker on Monday convinced the Second Circuit to revive part of her lawsuit alleging that Verizon Communications Inc. improperly shortchanged her more than $500,000 in life insurance benefits.

Kristine Sullivan-Mestecky can move forward with claims seeking to hold Verizon liable for fiduciary breach under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, the court held. But Sullivan-Mestecky’s claims for ERISA plan benefits were properly dismissed, because the terms of Verizon’s life insurance plan didn’t entitle her to the generous benefits she sought, the court said.

The dispute stems from a clerical error that Verizon’s benefit ...