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Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. v. Taylor

481 U.S. 58 (1987)

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Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. v. Taylor

United States Supreme Court

481 U.S. 58 (1987)

Facts

General Motors Corporation set up an employee benefit plan subject to the Employee Retirement Insurance Security Act (ERISA). The plan provided benefits to salaried employees disabled by sickness or accident and was insured by Metropolitan Life Insurance Company (Metropolitan) (defendant). General Motors employed Arthur Taylor (plaintiff) as a salaried worker. Taylor filed a claim for benefits due to severe emotional problems. Metropolitan provided benefits but ceased paying when its psychiatrist cleared Taylor to return to work. Taylor then filed a disability claim for a 19-year-old back injury he had suffered on the job. Metropolitan denied the disability claim when its orthopedist and General Motor’s medical department cleared Taylor for work. Taylor refused to return to work, and General Motors terminated his employment. Taylor filed suit against Metropolitan and General Motors in Michigan state court for breaching the benefits-plan contract and for wrongful termination. Metropolitan removed the case to federal court, claiming federal-question jurisdiction for the disability-benefits claim and pendent jurisdiction for the remaining claims. The district court found the case properly removable and granted summary judgment for Metropolitan and General Motors. Taylor appealed to the court of appeals, which reversed the decision, finding that the district court lacked removal grounds. Metropolitan and General Motors petitioned the United States Supreme Court, which granted certiorari.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (O’Connor, J.)

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