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McGann v. H&H Music Co.

946 F.2d 401 (1991)

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McGann v. H&H Music Co.

United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit

946 F.2d 401 (1991)

Facts

In 1987, John McGann (plaintiff) informed his employer, H&H Music Company (H&H) (defendant) that he had been diagnosed with AIDS. McGann met with H&H to discuss his diagnosis and the terms of the group medical plan provided to employees. At the time of the meeting, in March 1988, the plan provided lifetime medical benefits to all employees up to $1 million. Four months later, H&H informed its employees that a change had been made to the group medical plan. The change capped the lifetime medical benefit for costs associated with AIDS to $5,000. In response, McGann filed a suit against H&H, as well as against the plan’s administrator and insurer, under § 510 of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA), 29 U.S.C. § 1140. McGann alleged that H&H discriminated against him by limiting the lifetime medical benefit for AIDS-related expenses as a way to retaliate against him for exercising his rights under the plan and by interfering with his right under the plan to receive $1 million. The district court granted H&H’s motion for summary judgment, holding that employers have an absolute right to change the medical plan provided to employees and that the change did not violate § 510 because there was no evidence that H&H changed the plan to retaliate against McGann or interfere with any rights. McGann appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Garwood, J.)

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