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Timm v. Unum Life Insurance Company of America

United States District Court, N.D. Iowa, Central Division

August 6, 2018

JEREMY J. TIMM, Plaintiff,
v.
UNUM LIFE INSURANCE COMPANY OF AMERICA, Defendant.

          ORDER

          LINDA R. READE, UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT JUDGE

         TABLE OF CONTENTS

         I. INTRODUCTION ....................................... 1

         II. RELEVANT PROCEDURAL HISTORY ........................ 2

         III. SUBJECT MATTER JURISDICTION .......................... 2

         IV. STANDARD OF REVIEW ................................. 2

         A. Review of Final Decision .............................. 2

         B. Review of Report and Recommendation .................... 4

         V. RELEVANT FACTUAL BACKGROUND ........................ 5

         A. The Plan ......................................... 5

         B. Timm's Medical History ............................... 5

         C. Unum Life's Denial ................................. 7

         D. Timm's Appeal ..................................... 8

         VI. ANALYSIS ............................................ 9

         VII. CONCLUSION ........................................ 13

         I. INTRODUCTION

         The matter before the court is Plaintiff Jeremy J. Timm's Objections (docket no. 18) to United States Chief Magistrate Judge C.J. Williams's Report and Recommendation (docket no. 17), which recommends that the court affirm Defendant Unum Life Insurance Company of America's (“Unum Life”) final decision to deny Timm long term disability benefits.

         II. RELEVANT PROCEDURAL HISTORY

         On March 16, 2017, Timm filed the Complaint (docket no. 2). In the Complaint, Timm claims that Unum Life violated the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (“ERISA”) when it denied his application for long term disability benefits under the Cyclone Contracting Long Term Disability Policy. On April 21, 2017, Unum Life filed an Answer (docket no. 5) generally denying liability and asserting several affirmative defenses. On October 26, 2017, Timm filed the Plaintiff's Brief (docket no. 13). On December 22, 2017, Unum Life filed the Defendant's Brief (docket no. 14). On February 27, 2018, Timm filed a Reply (docket no. 15). The matter was referred to Judge Williams. On April 9, 2018, Judge Williams issued the Report and Recommendation, which recommends that the court affirm the final decision of Unum Life to deny Timm long term disability benefits. On April 23, 2018, Timm filed the Objections. On May 4, 2018, Unum Life filed the Response to Objections (docket no. 19). Neither party has requested oral argument and the court finds that oral argument is unnecessary. The matter is fully submitted and ready for decision.

         III. SUBJECT MATTER JURISDICTION

         The court has jurisdiction over the instant action because it arises under ERISA, 29 U.S.C. § 1132(a)(1)(B). See 28 U.S.C. § 1331 (“The district courts shall have original jurisdiction of all civil actions arising ...


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