July 6, 2007
Mimi Hull, President
ASSOCIATION OF U S WEST RETIREES (AUSWR)
AUSWR Board and General Members
Kerber v. Qwest (Group Life Insurance) Named Plaintiffs
The first and most important issue presented in the Kerber v. Qwest Group Life Insurance Plan case is whether or not Plan sponsor Qwest is bound by the rules that Basic Life Insurance Coverage “shall not be reduced below” the stated coverage amounts set forth in the 1998 Governing Plan Document. Plaintiffs-Retirees contend those rules circumscribe Qwest’s discretionary rights under the ‘reservation of rights’ provision in the Plan, meaning it was illegal for Qwest to skirt the rules and implement Plan Amendment 2006-1 which was adopted on December 13, 2006.
We contend this conclusion, which is a legal question to be decided by Denver Federal Judge Walker Miller based on his review of authenticated Plan documents, is dispositive of this case in favor of Plaintiffs and the proposed class of 48,000 Eligible Retirees (and their beneficiaries). Furthermore, since there is no factual dispute on this legal issue, we contend Judge Miller may sua sponte grant a partial summary judgment in favor of Plaintiffs and all Eligible Retirees.
Therefore, on Friday, June 29, 2007, a legal brief was filed in Denver Federal Court to oppose Qwest Defendants' initial effort to have the Kerber v. Qwest Group Life Insurance Plan case dismissed. The legal brief submitted on behalf of all retirees is posted at the AUSWR website: http://www.uswestretiree.org/Docket%2017-ResponseToQwestMotionToDismiss&ExhibitA.pdf You may also want to review the May 30, 2007 "Plaintiffs' motion for class certification and supporting Brief, also posted at the AUSWR website: http://www.uswestretiree.org/MotionForClassCertification&Brief.pdf If you read the two legal briefs, you should have a thorough understanding of the dispute and our efforts on behalf of all 48,000 retirees. Of course, even more detail is set forth in the May 15, 2007 Amended Complaint, also posted at the AUSWR website.
Since the material facts are not in dispute and the relevant papers have been authenticated, it is possible that we will get a ruling before the end of this year.
Meanwhile, please continue to encourage all families and surviving spouses who have received reduced life insurance payments (i.e., only $10,000) to forward to me photocopies of their papers received from Prudential Life Insurance Company.
Everyone should periodically check (each month) for updates which will be posted at the AUSWR website:
See what's free at AOL.com.