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Monday, March 12, 2007

Ind. Decisions - Two today from 7th Circuit

USA v. Shearer, Kenneth (ND Ind., William C. Lee, Judge), a 10-page opinion, Judge Flam writes:

On August 12, 2004, we affirmed his conviction but vacated his original sentence in light of United States v. Booker, 375 F.3d 508 (7th Cir. 2004). See United States v. Shearer, 379 F.3d 453, 456-57 (7th Cir. 2004). On remand, the district court sentenced Shearer to seventy months’ imprisonment on Counts 1, 3, and 4, and a concurrent sixty-month sentence on Count 2. For the following reasons, the Court affirms Shearer’s sentence.
In Patton, Michael v. MFS/Sun Life (SD Ind., Larry J. McKinney, Chief Judge), a 28-page opinion, Judge Cudahy writes:
When Michael Patton seriously injured his knee, his doctors concluded that he was no longer able to perform his job as a truck driver for Pac- Van, Inc. Patton presented a claim for long-term disability benefits to the administrator of Pac-Van’s employee benefits plan, MFS/Sun Life Financial Distributors, Inc. Sun Life initially approved Patton’s benefits, but discontinued them a year later. It found him able to perform his job in light of his training for an even more physically stressful career as a paramedic and a bizarre series of contradictory letters from his orthopedic specialist, first claiming that Patton was unable to work, then indicating he was, then finally reversing course again and indicating that he was unable to work. Patton sued for the discontinued benefits under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act. The district court limited its review to Sun Life’s administrative record and denied Patton’s motion to permit discovery and the introduction of new evidence. Sun Life moved for summary judgment and the district court granted the motion. Patton now appeals the grant of summary judgment and the denial of his motion for discovery. We reverse. * * *

For the foregoing reasons we reverse the grant of Sun Life’s motion for summary judgment and reverse the denial of Patton’s motion to reopen discovery. On remand, the district court should at least hear additional evidence from Dr. Ambrose on the nature and basis of his diagnosis and the cause of his confusing series of communications to Sun Life. The court may also, in its discretion, permit or disallow the introduction of other additional evidence.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on March 12, 2007 03:18 PM
Posted to Ind. (7th Cir.) Decisions