DaimlerChrysler Corp. Healthcare Benefits Plan v. Durden

448 F.3d 918 (2006)

From our private database of 45,900+ case briefs, written and edited by humans—never with AI.

DaimlerChrysler Corp. Healthcare Benefits Plan v. Durden

United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
448 F.3d 918 (2006)

Facts

In 1966, Douglas Durden married Ann Linzy (defendant) in Ohio. Douglas and Ann lived together in Ohio until 1982, when Ann left Douglas and moved to Tennessee. Douglas and Ann had two children together in Ohio. In 1975, Douglas had a child with Rita Marshall (defendant) in Ohio. Douglas and Rita married in Nevada in 1985. Douglas wrote on the marriage certificate that his marriage to Ann had been terminated in Tennessee in 1971. However, Ann denied divorcing Douglas, and Tennessee court records revealed no relevant divorce decree. Douglas and Rita lived as husband and wife in Ohio until Douglas’s 2003 death. Douglas was employed by DaimlerChrysler Corporation (Daimler) in Michigan and participated in Daimler’s Healthcare Benefits Plan (plan) (plaintiff). The plan was governed by Michigan law and provided for death benefits to Douglas’s surviving spouse. Douglas also was covered by a Daimler insurance policy, which provided for surviving-spouse benefits. After Ann and Rita both sought recognition as Douglas’s surviving spouse in federal court in Michigan, Daimler filed an interpleader complaint seeking a determination as to who should receive Douglas’s benefits. Rita argued that Michigan law governed the dispute per the plan and that Michigan law presumed the validity of a later ceremonial marriage that was challenged due to a claim that one spouse was still married. Ann argued that Ohio law governed due to Ohio’s stronger interest in determining who was Douglas’s surviving spouse. Ann noted that Ohio had expressly rejected Michigan’s approach to marriage validity, instead presuming that a prior marriage was valid. After concluding that Michigan law applied, the trial court granted summary judgment to Rita. Ann appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (McKeague, J.)

Dissent (Merritt, J.)

What to do next…

  1. Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.

    You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 734,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Berkeley, and Northwestern—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students.

    Unlock this case briefRead our student testimonials
  2. Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.

    Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students.

    Learn about our approachRead more about Quimbee

Here's why 734,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:

  • Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 45,900 briefs, keyed to 984 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
  • The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
  • Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
  • Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.

Access this case brief for FREE

With a 7-day free trial membership
Here's why 734,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
  • Reliable - written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students
  • The right length and amount of information - includes the facts, issue, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents
  • Access in your class - works on your mobile and tablet
  • 45,900 briefs - keyed to 984 casebooks
  • Uniform format for every case brief
  • Written in plain English - not in legalese and not just repeating the court's language
  • Massive library of related video lessons - and practice questions
  • Top-notch customer support

Access this case brief for FREE

With a 7-day free trial membership