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Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS:Michael Custer worked at Murphy Oil USA Inc. from 1979 to 2004. He started as an H-operator but, by 1997, he had worked his way up to shift foreman at Murphy’s plant in Meraux, La. This promotion made Custer a salaried employee and he became eligible for Murphy’s group-insurance plan. The plan was a self-funded group health plan administered by Murphy’s employee benefit committee. In November 2002, the benefit committee met to consider changes to the plan’s benefits, specifically relating to the long term benefits for employees who become totally disabled and are unable to work. At the time, the plan allowed employees who became totally disabled and whose employment was terminated as a result to receive benefits until the age of 65. The benefit committee agreed to make changes, limiting benefits of totally disabled employees to COBRA continuation coverage for 18 months. Although the benefit committee agreed to the changes, they were still pending approval from the corporate office when the employee benefits department sent Murphy’s annual open enrollment notice to all eligible employees in November 2002. Instead of announcing the proposed changes, the notice only announced the possibility that changes would follow. Murphy claimed that the corporate office approved the changes in early December 2002 and that, immediately thereafter, the benefits department mailed a written notice to all active employees notifying them of various changes to the plan which would be effective on Jan. 1, 2003. Although Murphy claimed that it mailed this notice to Custer at his then-present address, Custer contended that he never received the December 2002 notice. In March 2003, Murphy asserted that it mailed a new summary plan description to all active employees, which included two sections relating to the coverage for disabled and terminated employees. Custer stated that he did not receive the SPD either. On Dec. 19, 2003, Custer was injured while moving boxes in his attic. Apparently, the attic stairs collapsed; he fell eight feet and ruptured the disks in his neck. As a result of the accident, he was totally disabled and immediately went on a leave of absence from work. On Jan. 22, 2004, the benefits department sent Custer a letter explaining how some aspects of his benefits would be affected by his leave of absence and included some forms which he filled out and returned on Jan. 28, 2004. On May 25, 2004, the benefits department sent Custer another set of forms, which were returned completed. In June 2004, Custer called Murphy to inquire about his benefits and was told that his employment could be terminated due to his disability and therefore he would be no longer covered under the plan, as amended in January 2003. Custer claimed that this was the first he had heard of the amendments. Eventually, Murphy terminated Custer from his employment on Sept. 30, 2004. The benefits department notified Custer that his medical coverage ended when he was terminated but also informed him that he was eligible for COBRA continuation coverage, which ended in April 2006. Custer filed suit against Murphy in March 2005, seeking a declaratory judgment and damages under the pre-2003 version of the plan. After delays due to Hurricane Katrina, Murphy moved for summary judgment in April 2006. The plaintiffs opposed the motion and filed a cross-motion for summary judgment, but in June 2006 the district court granted summary judgment to Murphy on all claims and denied the plaintiffs’ cross-motion for summary judgment. HOLDING:Affirmed in part, reversed and remanded in part. The plaintiffs first argue that Murphy’s December 2002 notice did not comply with the reporting and disclosure requirements of the Employment Retirement Insurance Security Act (ERISA), 29 U.S.C. �1001 et seq. ERISA, the court stated, requires that “[a] summary of any material modification in the terms of the plan . . . shall be written in a manner calculated to be understood by the average plan participant and shall be furnished in accordance with section 1024(b)(1) of this title.” Applying this rule, the court found that the language of the notice was sufficient to communicate to the average plan participant that beginning Jan. 1, 2003, the plan’s former disability benefits would no longer be available; instead, the plan would only offer COBRA continuation coverage. Therefore, the court held that the content of the December 2002 notice complied with ERISA’s disclosure requirements. The court, however, found little evidence that Murphy mailed the notice. Custer and several other employees denied ever receiving it, and Murphy provided no direct evidence of mailing. Taken together, the court stated, the record demonstrated that a reasonable jury could think that at the very least, Murphy did not distribute the December 2002 notice using methods reasonably calculated to ensure receipt for the plan participants at the Meraux plant. Thus, the court found a genuine issue of material fact as to whether Murphy properly mailed the December 2002 notice to Custer and therefore reversed the district court’s grant of summary judgment on the issue. Next, the plaintiffs argued that Murphy discharged Custer for the purpose of interfering with the plaintiffs’ ERISA rights, in violation of 29 U.S.C. �1140. But instead of finding discriminatory intent, the court found that all evidence suggested “that Custer’s employment was terminated because he was unable to perform his job function.” Finally, the court stated, the plaintiffs argued that the modifications to the plan were not effective, because Murphy never formally approved the modifications. But under the plan at issue, the court stated that Murphy’s board of directors, its president or the plan administrator could modify or amend the plan from time to time at its sole discretion. OPINION:Garza, J.; Reavley, Garza and Dennis, JJ.

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