United States District Court, S.D. Mississippi, Southern Division
ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR NEW
GUIROLA, JR.UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
THE COURT is the  Motion for New Trial pursuant
to Fed.R.Civ.P. 59(e) filed by the plaintiff, Jason Ward, in
this ERISA case. The defendant, Aetna Life Insurance Company,
filed a response in opposition to the Motion, but Ward did
not file a reply. After reviewing the submissions of the
parties, the record in this matter, and the applicable law,
the Court finds that the Motion for New Trial should be
issued a group long-term disability insurance plan to
eligible employees of Pacific Architects and Engineers
Incorporated (hereafter “PAE”) effective January
1, 2015. The plan required employees who did not enroll
within thirty-one days of eligibility to submit evidence of
good health satisfactory to Aetna at their own expense to
obtain coverage. The plan granted Aetna discretion to
determine whether an employee's claim for benefits should
be granted, and Aetna was responsible for paying any valid
claims. On December 15, 2014, PAE hired Ward, a renal cancer
survivor, to work as an electrical engineer. Ward became
eligible for long-term disability coverage when he was hired,
but he did not enroll in the long-term disability plan within
thirty-one days of eligibility.
attempted to enroll in the long-term disability plan for the
plan period beginning January 1, 2016, but he did not attempt
to provide evidence of good health. Soon afterwards, tests
confirmed that Ward's cancer had spread to his lung. Ward
sought long-term disability benefits, but Aetna denied
Ward's claim because he did not submit an evidence of
insurability form demonstrating good health when he enrolled
in the long-term disability insurance plan. Ward appealed the
denial of his claim, asserting that he was told in writing
that he had coverage. He also noted that long-term disability
insurance premiums had been deducted from his paychecks.
Aetna denied Ward's appeal, and he filed this lawsuit
asserting claims for equitable relief pursuant to 29 U.S.C.
§ 1132(a)(3) and long-term disability benefits pursuant
to 29 U.S.C. § 1132(a)(1)(B). The parties filed
cross-motions for summary judgment. The Court granted summary
judgment in favor of Aetna. Ward now seeks reconsideration of
that order pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 59(e).
Rule 59(e) motion calls into question the correctness of a
judgment.” Templet v. Hydrochem, Inc., 367
F.3d 473, 478 (5th Cir. 2004). There are three grounds for
altering a judgment under Rule 59(e): (1) an intervening
change in controlling law, (2) the availability of new
evidence not previously available, or (3) the need to correct
a clear error of law or prevent manifest injustice.
Alexander v. Wells Fargo Bank, 867 F.3d 593, 597
(5th Cir. 2017). Rule 59(e) motions are “not the proper
vehicle for rehashing evidence, legal theories, or arguments
that could have been offered or raised before the entry of
judgment.” Templet, 367 F.3d at 478.
“Reconsideration of a judgment is an extraordinary
remedy that should be used sparingly.” Id.
first reasserts his previous argument that the evidence of
good health provision in the plan was ambiguous. However,
Motions to Reconsider “should not be used to . . .
re-urge matters that have already been advanced by a
party.” Nationalist Movement v. Town of Jena,
321 Fed.Appx. 359, 364 (5th Cir. 2009). Furthermore, as the
Court previously held, the plan clearly required applicants
to provide evidence of good health to obtain coverage if they
failed to enroll within thirty-one days of eligibility. Ward
does not dispute that he did not make any attempt to provide
evidence of good health. Thus, Ward has not demonstrated the
need to correct a clear error of law or prevent manifest
injustice on this basis.
also repeats his argument that the denial of his claim was
based on an “inexcusable procedural error” in
that Ward's employer failed to provide him with an
evidence of good health form when he applied for coverage. In
addition, he claims that the Court failed to consider
Aetna's conflict of interest. As this Court previously
noted, Aetna's decision was not procedurally unreasonable
because it merely applied the undisputed facts to the clear
plan language. In addition, it is not necessary to discuss
procedural unreasonableness and the effect of a conflict of
interest where the insurer's plan interpretation was
legally correct. See Stone v. UNOCAL Termination
Allowance Plan, 570 F.3d 252, 257 (5th Cir. 2009). As a
result, Ward's motion for new trial must be denied.
IS, THEREFORE, ORDERED AND ADJUDGED that the 
Motion for New Trial filed by the plaintiff, Jason Ward, is
ORDERED AND ADJUDGED
 Contrary to Ward's assertions, the
Court's discussion of Aetna's conflict of interest
appears on pages six through seven of the Court's