stricter standard of review and requiring him to produce evidence
beyond that required of journeyman members of Local 98 seeking
eligibility for the break-in-service exception.
Based on the uncontroverted evidence of damages presented at
trial and in plaintiff's pretrial filings, the Court makes the
following findings as to damages:
Plaintiff has accrued 27.5 years of benefit credits under the
Plan. (Pension Summary for Edward J. Foley, Sr., Plaintiff's Exh.
Plaintiff's accumulated monthly pension benefit is $1,387.43.
Plaintiff is entitled to an early retirement benefit under
Article II, Section D and Article III, Section B of the Plan.
(Plan, at 21-22, 35-36, Plaintiff's Exh. 1).
The amount of pension benefit payments due to Foley under the
Plan as of August 1, 2000, with interest, is $78,747.76.
The amount of the early retirement benefit payments due to
Foley under the Plan as of August 1, 2000, with interest, is
The total amount of past-due benefits plaintiff is entitled to
recover is $99,624.65.
III. CONCLUSIONS OF LAW*fn4
This action arises under the Employee Retirement Income
Security Act, 29 U.S.C. § 1001, et seq. ("ERISA"), and the
parties hereto are bound by the terms of ERISA.
The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local Union
No. 98 Pension Plan is a multiemployer pension benefit Plan
Pursuant to 29 U.S.C. § 1002(2)(A), 1002(37)(A)(ii).
Plaintiff Edward J. Foley, Sr., is a participant in the Plan
within the meaning of 29 U.S.C. § 1002(7).
The denial of plaintiff's application for benefits is subject
to an arbitrary and capricious standard of review by this Court.
See Foley v. International Broth. of Elec. Workers Local 98
Pension Fund, 91 F. Supp.2d 797, 805 (E.D.Pa. 2000) (citing
Firestone Tire and Rubber Co. v. Bruch, 489 U.S. 101, 111, 109
S.Ct. 948, 103 L.Ed.2d 80 (1989); Mitchell v. Eastman Kodak
Co., 113 F.3d 433, 437 (3d Cir. 1997)).
A decision to deny benefits is arbitrary and capricious if it
results in the disparate treatment of one person from all other
persons similarly situated. Disparate treatment includes
subjecting an individual to a stricter standard of proof than
that applied to any other individual similarly situated. See
Foley, 91 F. Supp.2d at 805-06.
Having found that Foley was treated differently from all other
persons similarly situated in that his petition for eligibility
under the break-in-service exception was subjected to a more
demanding evidentiary standard and a stricter level of scrutiny
than the petitions of those similarly situated to him (Finding of
Fact No. 18), I conclude that the 1996 decision of the Trustees
to deny plaintiff's application for benefits for the years
1959-71 was arbitrary and capricious, and that the decision
clearly violated the terms of the Plan, which requires "that all
. . . interpretations and decisions shall be applied in a uniform
manner to all Employees similarly situated." (Plan, Art. V, Sec.
A, Sub. 1, p. 45, Plaintiff's Exh. 1).
Because the decision of the Trustees to deny plaintiff's
application for benefits was arbitrary and capricious and was
inconsistent with the terms of the Plan, I conclude that
plaintiff is entitled to a recovery of benefits under
29 U.S.C. § 1132(a)(1)(B).
Therefore, judgment will be granted in favor of Foley in the
amount of $99,624.65. (Findings of Fact No. 41, 42, 43), and the
Trustees will be ordered to reinstate plaintiff's monthly pension
Because I have determined that plaintiff has an available
remedy under 29 U.S.C. § 1132(a)(1)(B), plaintiff may not proceed
on his claim for breach of fiduciary duty under
29 U.S.C. § 1132(a)(3). See Foley, 91 F. Supp.2d at 807 n. 15. Therefore,
the claims against the Fund and all individual defendants under §
1132(a)(3) will be denied.
Having concluded that plaintiff Edward J. Foley, Sr., is
entitled to a recovery of benefits due to him under the terms of
the plan pursuant to ERISA, 29 U.S.C. § 1132(a)(1)(B), and based
on the foregoing findings and conclusions, my verdict is in favor
of Foley for the amount of monthly pension benefits and an early
retirement bonus due as of August 1, 2000, $99,624.65.
Furthermore, plaintiff's eligibility for his monthly pension
benefit shall be reinstated in a manner consistent with the
foregoing and the terms of the Plan.