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Putative class action against Blue Cross Blue Shield for violation of fiduciary duties
DeLuca v. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, 08-1085, concerned a putative class action suit against Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, claiming that defendant violated its duties as a fiduciary under two provisions of ERISA, 29 U.S.C. sections 1104 and 1106(b), by agreeing to increase its traditional and PPO plan rates in exchange for decreases in the HMO rates.
In affirming the district court's grant of summary judgment in favor of defendant, the court held that the defendant was not acting as a fiduciary when it negotiated the challenged rate changes, principally because those business dealings were not directly associated with the benefits plan at issue here but were generally applicable to a broad range of health-care consumers.