: : Duke Energy Benefits Committee Sues Law Firm & Plan Member in ERISA Reimbursement Case

  1. Defendants have refused, despite numerous requests, to reimburse the Plan for
    benefits the Plan paid on Heafner’s behalf out of Settlement Funds he received in connection with
    the Accident. Defendants’ actions violate the terms of the Plan.
  2. Heafner has been unjustly enriched by her refusal to reimburse the Plan for the
    medical benefits it paid on his behalf.
  3. DeMayo has been unjustly enriched to the extent it withheld a portion of the
    settlement as attorneys’ fees and costs, when those fees and costs were subject to the Plan’s preexisting equitable lien by agreement, which attached prior to any agreement between DeMayo and
    Heafner regarding the payment of attorneys’ fees and costs.

Duke Energy Benefits Committee v. Demayo Law Offices, LLP et al, Complaint, Western District of North Carolina CASE #: 3:21-cv-00355-GCM-DSC

The ERISA plan in this matter seeks to enforce its rights under an alleged equitable lien by agreement. The Complaint alleges that the plan paid $36,698.52 and that the plan participant recovered $100,000. The personal injury attorney tendered an amount less than the $36,698.52 which the plan returned, demanding full reimbursement. After failure to resolve the issue, the plan filed this action in federal court seeking relief under ERISA Section 502(a)(3), to wit:

a. The imposition of a constructive trust and/or equitable lien by
agreement in favor of the Plan upon Settlement Funds in possession
of Defendants which are subject to the Plan’s
subrogation/reimbursement rights;
b. A declaration of the Plan’s ownership of the above-referenced
Settlement Funds up to the full amount of payments made by the
Plan for Heafner’s medical expenses; and
c. An order directing DeMayo and Heafner, respectively, to pay or turn
over such Settlement Funds, plus accumulated interest, to the Plan
to the extent of its interest therein.
c. Attorneys’ fees and costs under ERISA Section 502(g) and as within
this Court’s discretion, in light of Defendants’ conduct.