238 F.3d 1259 (10th Cir. 2001), 99-1188, Rekstad v. First Bank System Inc.

Docket Nº:99-1188 & 99-1190
Citation:238 F.3d 1259
Party Name:DENISE REKSTAD, Plaintiff-Appellant/ Cross-Appellee, v. FIRST BANK SYSTEM, INC., a Delaware corporation; FBS MORTGAGE CORPORATION, formerly doing business as Colorado National Mortgage corporation, a Nevada corporation; and FIRST BANK SYSTEM LONG-TERM DISABILITY PLAN, (PLAN #509), Defendants-Appellees/ Cross-Appellants.
Case Date:January 29, 2001
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit
 
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Page 1259

238 F.3d 1259 (10th Cir. 2001)

DENISE REKSTAD, Plaintiff-Appellant/ Cross-Appellee,

v.

FIRST BANK SYSTEM, INC., a Delaware corporation; FBS MORTGAGE CORPORATION, formerly doing business as Colorado National Mortgage corporation, a Nevada corporation; and FIRST BANK SYSTEM LONG-TERM DISABILITY PLAN, (PLAN #509), Defendants-Appellees/ Cross-Appellants.

Nos. 99-1188 & 99-1190

United States Court of Appeals, Tenth Circuit

January 29, 2001

APPEAL FROM THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLORADO. (D.C. No. 97-N-1315)

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[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

Page 1261

Carmen S. Danielson of Dietze and Davis, P.C., Boulder, Colorado, and Patricia Bellac of Boulder, Colorado, for Plaintiff-Appellant/Cross-Appellee.

Steven J. Merker (Nancy Smith Pearson and Stephen E. Abrams with him on the briefs) of Dorsey & Whitney LLP, Denver, Colorado, for Defendants-Appellees/Cross-Appellants.

Before EBEL, McKAY, and LUCERO, Circuit Judges.

McKAY, Circuit Judge.

Plaintiff worked for Defendant First Bank Systems (FBS) and took part in its ERISA regulated disability benefits plan. After an ankle injury in November 1993, Plaintiff could not work for a period of time and therefore received short-term and eventually long-term disability benefits pursuant to the disability plan. In June 1995, shortly after obtaining medical clearance to return to work, she incurred additional injuries in an automobile accident that again prevented her from working. Consequently, she continued to receive long-term disability benefits until January 31, 1996. By that date, FBS's benefits plan administrator had determined that Plaintiff's health was such that she no longer qualified for long-term disability benefits. Plaintiff appealed that decision to the plan administrator and was again denied further benefits. Plaintiff never returned to work and was not retained by the company that purchased FBS in April 1996.

Thereafter, Plaintiff sued FBS and others for violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), 42 U.S.C. §§ 12101-12213, and the Employment Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), 29 U.S.C. §§ 1001-1461. The district court granted summary judgment to Defendants on the ADA claim. The district court granted summary judgment to Plaintiff on her ERISA claim, holding that the plan administrator's decision to deny benefits after January 31, 1996, was arbitrary and...

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