Logourl black
From our private database of 13,800+ case briefs...

Pegram v. Herdrich

United States Supreme Court
530 U.S. 211 (2000)


Facts

Cynthia Herdrich (plaintiff) was an enrollee of Carle Clinic Association (“Carle”) (defendant), a health maintenance organization (“HMO”) owned by physicians who provided prepaid medical services. A Carle HMO physician, Dr. Lori Pegram (defendant) examined Herdrich for pain in Herdrich’s groin. Six days later, Pegram discovered a mass in Herdrich’s abdomen. Despite Herdrich’s noticeable inflammation, Pegram chose not to order an ultrasound at that time, and instead, decided that Herdrich needed to wait eight days before obtaining an ultrasound at an Carle-staffed facility more than 50 miles away. Before the eight days were up, Herdrich’s appendix ruptured, causing peritonitis. Herdrich thereafter brought suit against Pegram and Carle in state court for medical malpractice and later amended her complaint to add a state law fraud claim. Carle and Pegram argued that the Employment Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) preempted Herdrich’s causes of action and removed the case to federal court. The district court granted Carle and Pegram summary judgment on one of Herdrich’s claims but allowed the other claim to be amended. Herdrich then added a claim alleging Pegram and Carle breached an ERISA fiduciary duty which was dismissed by the district court. After a jury held for Herdrich on her initial malpractice claims, she appealed the district court’s dismissal of the ERISA claim to the court of appeals. The court of appeals reversed and Pegram and Carle sought certiorari to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Rule of Law

The rule of law is the black letter law upon which the court rested its decision. To access this section, start your 7-day free trial of Quimbee for Law Students.

Issue

The issue section includes the dispositive legal issue in the case phrased as a question. To access this section, start your 7-day free trial of Quimbee for Law Students.

Holding and Reasoning (Souter, J.)

The holding and reasoning section includes:

  • A “yes” or “no” answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

To access this section, start your 7-day free trial of Quimbee for Law Students.

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 97,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Vanderbilt, Berkeley, and the University of Illinois—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students. Read 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. Read more about Quimbee.

Here's why 166,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:

  • Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 13,800 briefs, keyed to 187 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.