Fulghum v Embarq Corporation

Fulghum and others sued Embarq and other employers alleging cancelation or reduction in life insurance and health insurance benefits for retirees violated ERISA and was age discrimination. The district court granted partial summary judgment to Embarq and the other employers. The panel affirmed in part, reversed in part and remanded. It affirmed the contract based claims holding the plan documents unambiguously allowed Embarq and the employers to terminate or reduce benefits. It reversed on fiduciary claims under 29 USC 1132(a)(3) as the district court applied the wrong limitations period and under 29 USC 1104(a)(1) to the extent the plaintiffs’ claims are fraud based as either fraudulent statements or fraudulent concealment trigger the exclusion from the 6 year statute of repose. The panel finally affirmed judgment on the age discrimination claims as the employers had legitimate non age reasons to do the benefit reductions and terminations, namely matching the packages in the industry, and terminating benefits for Medicare eligible retirees is allowed under a valid federal regulation.

Medina-Rosales v Holder

Medina-Rosales petitioned for review of the denial of his petition for waiver of inadmissibility. The panel granted his petition. It first held that because Morales-Rosales was in Tulsa when the video hearing took place, 10th Circuit law applied. It then joined a majority of circuits and limited 8 USC 1182(h) to petitioners for waiver of ineligibility who are legal permanent residents who have been admitted to the United States by presenting themselves to immigration officials holding the language is clear and unambiguous.  As Medina-Rosales seeks adjustment in status which is not “admission”, 1182(h) does not apply and he is eligible for waiver though the decision is in the hands of the immigration judge in the first instance.