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United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
September 29, 1992, Argued ; February 12, 1993, Decided
No. 92-1100, No. 92-1166
WILLIAMS, Circuit Judge:
Mr. Robert E. Quesinberry brought this action to collect proceeds as a beneficiary of an accidental death insurance policy purchased by his wife, Mrs. Karen S. Quesinberry, from Life Insurance Company of North America (LINA) through her employer. The district court awarded Mr. Quesinberry $ 82,500, the principal amount of the policy, as well as pre- and post-judgment interest. On appeal, LINA challenges the district court's consideration of evidence that was not part of the record before the plan administrator as well as the judgment for Mr. Quesinberry. Mr. Quesinberry cross-appeals the district court's denial of attorneys' fees and challenges the manner in which the district court awarded post-judgment interest.
This appeal presents three issues regarding the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), 29 U.S.C. §§ 1001-1461 (1988). The first issue concerns the scope of the district court's de novo review in denial of benefits cases, specifically whether the district court may consider evidence that was not presented to the [**3] plan administrator. The second issue concerns the district court's application of the test adopted by this court in Adkins v. Reliance Standard Life Insurance Co., 917 F.2d 794 (4th [*1020] Cir. 1990), for determining whether injuries or losses are accidental where there may be a preexisting infirmity or susceptibility. The third issue is the appropriate legal standard for an award of attorneys' fees in an ERISA action. In addition to the ERISA issues, we must determine whether prejudgment interest should be included as part of the judgment when calculating post-judgment interest.
For the reasons set forth below, we conclude that the district court employed the correct scope of review, that it did not err in finding for Mr. Quesinberry, and that attorneys' fees were properly denied. We also conclude, however, that the district court should have awarded post-judgment interest on the entire amount of the judgment, including the assessment of pre-judgment interest. Accordingly, we affirm in part, reverse in part, and remand.
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987 F.2d 1017 *; 1993 U.S. App. LEXIS 2265 **; 16 Employee Benefits Cas. (BNA) 2625
ROBERT E. QUESINBERRY, individually and as Administrator of the Estate of Karen S. Quesinberry, deceased, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. LIFE INSURANCE COMPANY OF NORTH AMERICA, Defendant-Appellant, and CITIBANK INDIVIDUAL BANKING GROUP ACCIDENT PLAN, Defendant. ROBERT E. QUESINBERRY, individually and as Administrator of the Estate of Karen S. Quesinberry, deceased, Plaintiff-Appellant, v. LIFE INSURANCE COMPANY OF NORTH AMERICA, Defendant-Appellee, and CITIBANK INDIVIDUAL BANKING GROUP ACCIDENT PLAN, Defendant.
Subsequent History: [**1] As Amended March 3, 1993.
Prior History: Appeals from the United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia, at Roanoke. Jackson L. Kiser, District Judge. (CA-86-250-R)
Disposition: Affirmed in part, reversed in part, and remanded by published opinion.
district court, plan administrator, post-judgment, attorney's fees, benefits, de novo review, cases, pre-judgment, pre-existing, pre-disposition, susceptibility, coverage, additional evidence, purposes, insurance policy, disability, awarding, courts, circumstances, employees, claimant, plans, standard of review, scope of review, entire amount, discretionary, circuits, damages, evidentiary, injection
Civil Procedure, Appeals, Standards of Review, De Novo Review, Governments, Fiduciaries, Pensions & Benefits Law, ERISA, Civil Litigation, General Overview, Fiduciaries, Judicial Review, De Novo Standard of Review, Civil Litigation, Handling of Claims, Scope of Review, Administrative Law, Administrative Record, Claim Procedures, Damages, Costs & Attorney Fees, Discretionary Fees, Mandatory Fees, Business & Corporate Compliance, Funding Requirements, Pension Plan Funding, Remedies, Judgment Interest, Prejudgment Interest, Postjudgment Interest, Federal Preemption, Federal Law Exemption, Interest Awards