Quimbee logo
DMCA.com Protection Status

Firestone Tire and Rubber Co. v. Bruch

489 U.S. 101 (1989)

Case BriefRelatedOptions
From our private database of 28,700+ case briefs...

Firestone Tire and Rubber Co. v. Bruch

United States Supreme Court

489 U.S. 101 (1989)

Facts

Firestone Tire and Rubber Company (Firestone) (defendant) was the administrator and fiduciary of three employee benefit plans under the Employee Retirement Security Income Act (ERISA). Firestone served as the sole funding source for the termination, retirement, and stock-purchase plans and had not set up separate trust funds to pay out the plan benefits. The termination plan provided termination pay if employees’ service was discontinued before the employees were eligible for pension benefits. Termination pay could trigger if employees were released due to a reduction in force. In 1980, Firestone sold its plastics division to Occidental Petroleum Company. Richard Bruch and other plastics-division employees (plaintiffs) filed claims with Firestone for severance benefits under the termination plan. Firestone denied the benefits, stating that the sale of the plastics division did not constitute a reduction in force. The employees filed a class-action suit in federal district court against Firestone under ERISA. The district court granted summary judgment for Firestone, finding that the company met its ERISA fiduciary duty because the denial of benefits was not arbitrary or capricious. The employees appealed to the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, which reversed the district court’s ruling. The court of appeals found that a denial of benefits should not be reviewed under the arbitrary-and-capricious standard. Instead, the court of appeals found that de novo review was the appropriate standard of review. Firestone appealed to the United States Supreme Court.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (O’Connor, 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 546,000 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 546,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:

  • Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 28,700 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 546,000 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
  • 28,700 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