Logourl black
From our private database of 14,100+ case briefs...

Vallone v. CNA Financial Corp.

United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
375 F.3d 623 (7th Cir. 2004)


Facts

Continental Insurance Company (Continental) (defendant) offered its employees retiree benefits, including a monthly Health Care Allowance (HCA). Beginning in 1991, Continental began offering an early-retirement program known as the Voluntary Special Retirement Program (VSRP), which included Continental’s own version of a monthly HCA. Continental’s materials on the VSRP incorporated a 1992 Retirement Guide, which set forth the terms of Continental’s standard retiree-benefit plan. The 1992 Retirement Guide included a clause reserving Continental’s right to amend or revoke retiree benefits at any time. In meetings with potential early retirees, Continental orally represented that the HCA benefit was a lifetime benefit. Continental said nothing about the revocability of the HCA benefit. In 1995, CNA Financial Corporation (CNA) (defendant) acquired Continental. In 1998, CNA decided that the HCA benefit under the VSRP would be revoked as of January 1, 1999. Thereafter, 347 Continental employees who had accepted early retirement under the VSRP in 1992 (plaintiffs) sued CNA for terminating their HCA benefits. The plaintiffs claimed wrongful denial of benefits under (1) the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), 29 U.S.C. § 1001, et seq.; (2) equitable estoppel; and (3) breach of fiduciary duty. The district court granted summary judgment in favor of CNA. The plaintiffs appealed.

Rule of Law

The rule of law is the black letter law upon which the court rested its decision.

To access this section, please start your free trial or log in.

Issue

The issue section includes the dispositive legal issue in the case phrased as a question.

To access this section, please start your free trial or log in.

Holding and Reasoning (Cudahy, 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, please start your free trial or log in.

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 217,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:

  • Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 14,100 briefs, keyed to 189 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.