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Case TitleVarnum LLP v. United States Department of Labor
DistrictWestern District of Michigan
CitySouthern Division
Case Number1:2018cv01156
Date Filed2018-10-09
Date ClosedOpen
JudgeJudge Janet T. Neff
PlaintiffVarnum LLP
Case DescriptionThe law firm of Varum LLP submitted a FOIA request to the Department of Labor's Employee Benefits Security Administration and the Chicago Regional Solicitor's Office for records of completed investigations of employee claims related to Blue Cross Blue Shield Michigan. The agency acknowledged receipt of the requests. The EBSA withheld 1,580 pages under Exemption 4 (confidential business information) and the Chicago Regional Solicitor's Office withheld 609 pages under Exemption 4. Varum filed administrative appeals for both denials. After hearing nothing further from either component, Varum filed suit.
Complaint issues: Failure to respond within statutory time limit, Litigation - Attorney's fees

DefendantUnited States Department of Labor
DefendantBlue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Mutual Insurance Co.
Documents
Docket
Complaint
Complaint attachment 1
Complaint attachment 2
Complaint attachment 3
Complaint attachment 4
Complaint attachment 5
Complaint attachment 6
User-contributed Documents
 
Docket Events (Hide)
Date FiledDoc #Docket Text

2018-10-091COMPLAINT for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief against United States Department of Labor filed by Varnum LLP (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit 1, # 2 Exhibit 2, # 3 Exhibit 3, # 4 Exhibit 4, # 5 Exhibit 5, # 6 Exhibit 6) (Phelps, Aaron) (Entered: 10/09/2018)
2018-10-09FILING FEE PAID re 1 by plaintiff Varnum LLP in the amount of $400, receipt number 0646-4258616 (Phelps, Aaron) (Entered: 10/09/2018)
2018-10-112NOTICE that this case has been assigned Janet T. Neff ; with NOTICE OF DEFICIENCY re corporate disclosure statement (ems) (Entered: 10/11/2018)
2018-10-11SUMMONS NOT ISSUED as to defendant United States Department of Labor (none provided; please refer to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 4(i) regarding service on the United States and Its Agencies, Corporations, Officers, or Employees) (ems) (Entered: 10/11/2018)
2018-10-113PROPOSED SUMMONS to be issued re 1 (Phelps, Aaron) (Entered: 10/11/2018)
2018-10-114CORPORATE DISCLOSURE STATEMENT by Varnum LLP (Phelps, Aaron) (Entered: 10/11/2018)
2018-10-12SUMMONS NOT ISSUED as to defendant United States Department of Labor ; please refer to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 4(i) regarding service on the United States and Its Agencies, Corporations, Officers, or Employees (pjw) (Entered: 10/12/2018)
2018-10-125PROPOSED SUMMONS to be issued re 1 (Phelps, Aaron) (Entered: 10/12/2018)
2018-10-156SUMMONS ISSUED as to defendant United States Department of Labor, U.S. Attorney and U.S. Attorney General (ems) (Entered: 10/15/2018)
2018-11-15(NON-DOCUMENT) ATTORNEY APPEARANCE of Carolyn Ann Almassian on behalf of defendant United States Department of Labor (Almassian, Carolyn) (Entered: 11/15/2018)
2018-11-157ANSWER to complaint, 1 with affirmative defenses by United States Department of Labor (Almassian, Carolyn) (Entered: 11/15/2018)
2018-11-158ORDER setting Rule 16 scheduling conference: Rule 16 scheduling conference is set for 1/2/2019 at 11:00 AM at 401 Federal Building, Grand Rapids, MI before Judge Janet T. Neff; joint status report due by 12/26/2018; signed by Judge Janet T. Neff (Judge Janet T. Neff, rmw) (Entered: 11/15/2018)
2018-11-199UNOPPOSED MOTION to intervene intervenor Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Mutual Insurance Co. by intervenor Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Mutual Insurance Co.; (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit 1) (O'Reilly, Arthur) (Entered: 11/19/2018)
2018-11-1910BRIEF in support of UNOPPOSED MOTION to intervene intervenor Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Mutual Insurance Co. 9 filed by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Mutual Insurance Co. (O'Reilly, Arthur) (Entered: 11/19/2018)
2018-11-1911CERTIFICATE regarding compliance with LCivR 7.1(d) re UNOPPOSED MOTION to intervene intervenor Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Mutual Insurance Co. 9 filed by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Mutual Insurance Co. (O'Reilly, Arthur) (Entered: 11/19/2018)
2018-11-20(NON-DOCUMENT) ATTORNEY APPEARANCE of Andrew J. Clopton on behalf of intervenor Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Mutual Insurance Co. (Clopton, Andrew) (Entered: 11/20/2018)
2018-11-2012ORDER granting 9 unopposed motion for intervention; Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Mutual Insurance Company, shall no later than 11/27/2018, file an answer consistent with the proposed answer; signed by Judge Janet T. Neff (Judge Janet T. Neff, rmw) (Entered: 11/20/2018)
2018-11-2113REQUEST for pre-motion conference by plaintiff Varnum LLP for Summary Judgment Motion (Phelps, Aaron) (Entered: 11/21/2018)
2018-11-2114ANSWER to complaint, 1 with affirmative defenses by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Mutual Insurance Co. (O'Reilly, Arthur) (Entered: 11/21/2018)
2018-11-21(NON-DOCUMENT) ATTORNEY APPEARANCE of C. Kevin Marshall on behalf of intervenor Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Mutual Insurance Co. (Marshall, C.) (Entered: 11/21/2018)
2018-11-26(NON-DOCUMENT) ATTORNEY APPEARANCE of Rebecca D'Arcy O'Reilly on behalf of intervenor Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Mutual Insurance Co. (O'Reilly, Rebecca) (Entered: 11/26/2018)
2018-11-2715RESPONSE TO REQUEST for pre-motion conference by plaintiff Varnum LLP for Summary Judgment Motion 13 and Defendant United States Department of Labor's Pre-Motion Conference Request and Response to Plaintiff's Pre-Motion Conference Request ; filed by United States Department of Labor (Almassian, Carolyn) Modified text on 11/29/2018 (ems). (Entered: 11/27/2018)
2018-11-2816RESPONSE TO REQUEST for pre-motion conference by plaintiff Varnum LLP for Summary Judgment Motion 13 ; filed by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Mutual Insurance Co. (O'Reilly, Arthur) (Entered: 11/28/2018)
2018-12-0417ORDER scheduling a pre-motion conference regarding document number 13 : pre-motion conference is set for 1/9/2019 at 02:30 PM at 401 Federal Building, Grand Rapids, MI before Judge Janet T. Neff; signed by Judge Janet T. Neff (Judge Janet T. Neff, rmw) (Entered: 12/04/2018)
2018-12-0418ORDER rescheduling Rule 16 conference: Rule 16 scheduling conference rescheduled to 1/9/2019 at 02:30 PM at 401 Federal Building, Grand Rapids, MI before Judge Janet T. Neff; joint status report due by 1/2/2019; signed by Judge Janet T. Neff (Judge Janet T. Neff, rmw) (Entered: 12/04/2018)
2018-12-0419RESPONSE TO 15 United States Department of Labor's Pre-Motion Conference Request filed by intervenor Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Mutual Insurance Co. (O'Reilly, Arthur) (Entered: 12/04/2018)
2018-12-1320REQUEST for pre-motion conference by intervenor Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Mutual Insurance Co. for Summary Judgment Motion (O'Reilly, Arthur) (Entered: 12/13/2018)
2018-12-1421RESPONSE TO REQUEST for pre-motion conference by intervenor Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Mutual Insurance Co. for Summary Judgment Motion 20 and Department of Labor Pre-Motion Conference Request 15 ; filed by Varnum LLP (Phelps, Aaron) Modified text on 12/14/2018 (ems). (Entered: 12/14/2018)
2018-12-1722ORDER scheduling a pre-motion conference regarding document number 20 : pre-motion conference is set for 1/9/2019 at 02:30 PM at 401 Federal Building, Grand Rapids, MI before Judge Janet T. Neff; signed by Judge Janet T. Neff (Judge Janet T. Neff, rmw) (Entered: 12/17/2018)
2019-01-0223JOINT STATUS REPORT (Phelps, Aaron) (Entered: 01/02/2019)
2019-01-0924MOTION to stay by defendant United States Department of Labor; (Almassian, Carolyn) (Entered: 01/09/2019)
2019-01-0925CERTIFICATE regarding compliance with LCivR 7.1(d) re MOTION to stay 24 filed by United States Department of Labor (Almassian, Carolyn) (Entered: 01/09/2019)
2019-01-0926ORDER granting to an extent 24 motion to stay; notice cancelling today's proceedings to issue; signed by Judge Janet T. Neff (Judge Janet T. Neff, rmw) (Entered: 01/09/2019)
2019-01-0927NOTICE cancelling today's Rule 16 scheduling conference (Judge Janet T. Neff, rmw) (Entered: 01/09/2019)
2019-01-0928NOTICE cancelling today's pre-motion conference (Judge Janet T. Neff, rmw) (Entered: 01/09/2019)
2019-02-0129UNOPPOSED MOTION for order To Lift Stay by defendant United States Department of Labor; (Attachments: # 1 Proposed Order to Lift Stay) (Almassian, Carolyn) Modified text on 2/4/2019 (ems). (Entered: 02/01/2019)
2019-02-0130CERTIFICATE regarding compliance with LCivR 7.1(d) re UNOPPOSED MOTION for order To Lift Stay 29 filed by United States Department of Labor (Almassian, Carolyn) Modified text on 2/4/2019 (ems). (Entered: 02/01/2019)
2019-02-2031ORDER granting 29 motion to lift stay; signed by Judge Janet T. Neff (Judge Janet T. Neff, rmw) (Entered: 02/20/2019)
2019-02-2032MOTION to stay proceedings by intervenor Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Mutual Insurance Co.; (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit A) (Marshall, C.) (Entered: 02/20/2019)
2019-02-2033BRIEF in support of MOTION to stay proceedings 32 filed by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Mutual Insurance Co. (Marshall, C.) (Entered: 02/20/2019)
2019-02-2034CERTIFICATE regarding compliance with LCivR 7.1(d) re MOTION to stay proceedings 32 filed by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Mutual Insurance Co. (Marshall, C.) (Entered: 02/20/2019)
2019-03-0135NOTICE re 32 of Supplemental Authority by intervenor Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Mutual Insurance Co. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit A) (Marshall, C.) (Entered: 03/01/2019)
2019-03-0636RESPONSE TO MOTION to stay proceedings 32 filed by Varnum LLP (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit A - Settlement Agreement with BCBSM, # 2 Exhibit B - Stipulated Protective Order, # 3 Exhibit C - Trial Exhibits 524-527, # 4 Exhibit D - Forms 5500, # 5 Exhibit E - Information re Form 5500 Series, # 6 Exhibit F - Search, # 7 Exhibit G - FreeERISA Benefits website) (Phelps, Aaron) (Entered: 03/06/2019)
2019-03-1237UNOPPOSED MOTION for leave to file reply in support of motion to stay proceedings 32 by intervenor Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Mutual Insurance Co.; (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit A (Proposed Reply)) (Marshall, C.) (Entered: 03/12/2019)
2019-03-1238CERTIFICATE regarding compliance with LCivR 7.1(d) re UNOPPOSED MOTION for leave to file reply in support of motion to stay proceedings 32 37 filed by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Mutual Insurance Co. (Marshall, C.) (Entered: 03/12/2019)
2019-03-1339ORDER denying 32 motion to stay; granting 37 motion for leave to file; signed by Judge Janet T. Neff (Judge Janet T. Neff, clb) (Entered: 03/13/2019)
2019-03-1340REPLY to response to motion 32 (as filed per Order 39 ) filed by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Mutual Insurance Co. (ems) (Entered: 03/13/2019)
2019-03-1441ORDER scheduling a pre-motion conference regarding document numbers 13 , 20 : pre-motion conference is set for 4/26/2019 at 01:30 PM at 401 Federal Building, Grand Rapids, MI before Judge Janet T. Neff; signed by Judge Janet T. Neff (Judge Janet T. Neff, rmw) (Entered: 03/14/2019)
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by FOIA Project Staff
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