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United States District Court for the Eastern District of California
June 2, 2016, Decided; June 3, 2016, Filed
David Barboza brought this action under the Employees Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA), 29 U.S.C. § 1001 et seq. Judgment was recently entered following a third round of dispositive cross-motions. [*2] Barboza now seeks attorneys' fees. As explained below, the motion is GRANTED IN PART.
The parties do not dispute the basic factual and procedural underpinnings of this case. See Mot. Fees 2-6, ECF No. 177; Opp'n 1 & n.1, ECF No. 180. The following summary is drawn from the court's previous orders. ECF Nos. 103,1 172.2
David Barboza was a firefighter for the City of Tracy, California. In 2006, the City placed him on disability retirement as a result of a back injury and peripheral neuropathy in his legs. A few months later, he filed a claim for disability benefits under the California Association of Professional Firefighters (CAPF) Long Term Disability Plan (the Plan), which claim was eventually denied in 2007 because the Plan had no documentation of his disability. Barboza filed an administrative appeal, and the Plan's administrative body held a hearing. Two weeks after the hearing, before the appeal was decided, Barboza filed his complaint in this case.
About six weeks after Barboza's complaint was filed, his administrative [*3] appeal was decided. CAPF reversed the previous denial of benefits but reduced Barboza's award by an amount equal to one year of his pay. In reaching this decision, it cited Plan provisions that impose "offsets" or deductions on benefits when the participant waives or forfeits pay that he or she would otherwise have been eligible to receive from a third-party source. In Barboza's case, CAPF found Barboza had waived or forfeited pay he was entitled to receive under section 4850 of the California Labor Code.3
After the Plan issued its decision on appeal, Barboza settled a workers' compensation claim with the City of Tracy and received $18,000. He did not notify the defendants of this settlement. Neither did he notify the defendants he owned an alpaca ranch, worked intermittently for a digital media company and a railroad, and had other self-employment income.
Full case includes Shepard's, Headnotes, Legal Analytics from Lex Machina, and more.
2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 73529 *
DAVID BARBOZA, Plaintiff, v. CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF PROFESSIONAL FIREFIGHTERS, et al., Defendants.
Prior History: Barboza v. Cal. Ass'n of Prof'l Firefighters, 2009 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 52848 (E.D. Cal., June 23, 2009)
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