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United States District Court for the Northern District of California
February 11, 2011, Decided; February 11, 2011, Filed
No. C-08-01607 JSW (JCS)
[*1016] REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION RE DEFENDANTS' MOTION FOR ATTORNEYS' FEES AND COSTS
[Docket No. 88]
This action arises out of the termination of Plaintiff Pamela Jackson's long-term disability benefits by Defendant Wilson, Sonsini, Goodrich & Rosati Long Term Disability Plan ("the Plan"), which is funded by insurance purchased from Defendant Prudential Insurance Company of America ("Prudential"). The action was brought by Ms. Jackson and the trustee of her bankruptcy estate, Lynn Schoenmann ("Trustee"), which asserted an interest in any recovery Ms. Jackson might obtain in the action. 1 Plaintiff's claim is asserted under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 ("ERISA"). The Court entered summary judgment in favor of Defendants [**2] in an order filed August 27, 2010, and judgment was entered in favor of Defendants on the same day. Subsequently, Defendants filed the instant motion ("the Motion"), requesting an award of attorneys' fees pursuant to 29 U.S.C. § 1132(g). The Court finds that the Motion is suitable for determination without oral argument, pursuant to Civil Local Rule 7-1(b). Accordingly, the hearing set for February 18, [*1017] 2011 is vacated. For the reasons stated below, it is recommended that the Motion be DENIED.
A. Factual Background
The underlying facts of this action are set forth in detail in the Court's summary judgment order, which states as follows:
This action arises from the denial of Plaintiff's claim for benefits under the Long Term Disability Plan ("the Plan") through Prudential Insurance Company of American ("Prudential") provided by Ms. Jackson's employer, Wilson, Sonsini, Goodrich & Rosati LLP ("WSG&R"). Plaintiff brought this action to challenge the termination of her claim for disability benefits under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 ("ERISA"), 29 U.S.C. §1132(a)(1)(B).
The Plan provides [**3] long term benefits to qualified WSG&R employees if they suffer from "Total Disability" within the meaning of the term in the Plan. The Plan states that "'Total Disability' exists when Prudential determines that all of these conditions are met:
Full case includes Shepard's, Headnotes, Legal Analytics from Lex Machina, and more.
768 F. Supp. 2d 1015 *; 2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 16830 **
PAMELA JACKSON, ET AL., Plaintiffs, v. WILSON, SONSINI, GOODRICH & ROSATI LONG TERM DISABILITY PLAN, ET AL., Defendants.
Subsequent History: Adopted by, Motion denied by Jackson v. Wilson, Sonsini, Goodrich & Rosati Long Term Disability Plan, 2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 86952 (N.D. Cal., Mar. 7, 2011)
Prior History: Jackson v. Wilson, Sonsini, Goodrich & Rosati Long Term Disability Plan, 2010 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 88930 (N.D. Cal., Aug. 27, 2010)
attorney's fees, benefits, disability, Defendants', factors, fee award, pain, award of fees, bad faith, plaintiff's claim, costs, medical record, ability to pay, district court, restrictions, culpability, complaints, tests, medical evidence, award fees, termination, occupation, symptoms, argues, cases, deterrent effect, summary judgment, job description, private insurer, return to work