In short, Hewitt was hired by the Committee to handle pension estimates. Hewitt was the agent of the Committee in handling estimates of anticipated retirement benefits. Hewitt was alerted to its mistake and took action to prevent its repeat, but repeated the mistake nonetheless. Hewitt’s “flagging” Frawley’s account proves it knew of the problem. Hewitt’s knowledge of this problem is therefore imputed to the Committee, and the Committee is therefore not shielded by the discovery rule. At the least, Hewitt was in possession of information from which it could and should have known about its mistake in calculating Frawley’s pension.
Verizon Benefits Committee v. Frawley, No. 3:05-CV-2105-P (N.D. Tex. 2008)
The Fifth Circuit recent affirmed this district court opinion wherein the court held that a two year statute of limitations applied and that knowledge of an “overpayment” by a service provider may be imputed to the plan administrator for purposes of the discovery rule. Rob Hoskins posted this case on erisaboard.com and it is definitely one to read whether you are typically on the plaintiff or defendant side of benefit issues. If you do not have access to erisaboard.com, I will be glad to send you the opinions. Just send me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org