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Eleventh Circuit Denies Pro Se Litigant Rule 60 Relief from Judgment on ERISA Breach of Fiduciary Duty Claim

In Perras v. The Coca-Cola Company of North America, No. 21-13908, 2022 WL 3269970 (11th Cir. Aug. 11, 2022), pro se litigant David Perras appealed the district court’s denial of his motion for relief from the judgment in favor of The Coca-Cola Company on his breach of fiduciary duty claim. Perras received long-term disability benefits under Coke’s benefits plan for several years beyond the three years of benefits payable. Coke stopped paying his benefits and explained its provision of benefits beyond three years was an administrative error. Perras sued Coke for breaching its fiduciary duty by engaging in a systematic patter of misrepresentation and incompetence that caused him to believe that his ancillary benefits would be reinstated.

The district court granted Coke’s motion to dismiss in part and later granted Coke’s motion for summary judgment. Coke sought relief from the district court under Rule 60(b)(3), arguing that Coke had committed fraud by the court when it claimed that Perras’s benefits were continued due to an administrative error. The district court found there was no support for his claim and denied the motion for relief. On appeal, Perras argued the district court should have granted his motion for relief from the judgment based on a clerical error, which was his own inadvertent omission of certain exhibits. He contended that the missing exhibits show he was entitled to retirement benefits under a separate retirement plan. This basis was different than that argued to the district court. Because Perras did not present this issue to the district court, the Eleventh Circuit declined to address whether the missing exhibits provided a proper basis for granting Perras’s motion. The court also found that the district court did not abuse its discretion by denying Perras’s Rule 60 motion on the merits.


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*Please note that this blog is a summary of a reported legal decision and does not constitute legal advice. This blog has not been updated to note any subsequent change in status, including whether a decision is reconsidered or vacated. The case above was handled by other law firms, but if you have questions about how the developing law impacts your ERISA benefit claim, the attorneys at Roberts Disability Law, P.C. may be able to advise you so please contact us.

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