United States District Court, D. Maryland
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER RE: PREJUDGMENT
J. GARBIS UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Court has before it Plaintiff's Motion for Prejudgment
Interest [ECF No. 37] and the materials submitted relating
thereto. The Court finds no need for a hearing.
forth in the Memorandum and Order Re: Summary Judgment [ECF
No. 35], Plaintiff Jesse Solomon ("Solomon") filed
an application with the Disability Initial Claims Committee
("the Committee") for total and permanent
disability benefits ("T&P benefits") that was,
ultimately, denied by the Retirement Board ("the
Board") on November 19, 2009. On December 12, 2010,
Solomon filed a second application seeking T&P benefits under
the NFL Retirement Plan ("the Plan") related to
neurological and cognitive impairments resulting from
countless helmet-to-helmet impacts sustained during his NFL
career. AR 564-68. The Committee was deadlocked as to whether
Solomon was totally and permanently disabled
("TPD"), and his application was deemed denied on
March 9, 2011. AR 655. On April 27, 2011, Solomon appealed
the denial of the Second Application to the Board. AR 672.
21, 2011, an SSA Administrative Law Judge issued a Notice of
granting Solomon disability benefits and finding him disabled
as of October 29, 2008. At some time thereafter, Solomon
notified the Board of the SSA determination. On August 4,
2011, the Board designated Solomon TPD, awarding benefits
effective October 1, 2010, but did not award Solomon the
higher category of T&P benefits he sought, Football
Degenerative benefits, because - it stated - he had not
become TPD within 15 years of his retirement. Under the terms
of the Plan, this finding meant Solomon was eligible for
Inactive benefits only, a lower category of T&P benefits.
September 27, 2011, Solomon appealed to the Board seeking
reclassification of his benefits to the higher category of
T&P benefits. The Board rejected the appeal on November 16,
November 14, 2014, Solomon filed the instant lawsuit for
denial of benefits, pursuant to ERISA § 502(a)(1)(B), 29
U.S.C. § 1132,  in response to the Board's November
2011 final denial of Football Degenerative benefits.
seeks prejudgment interest at a rate of six percent per annum
compounded monthly from October 2010, the effective date of
the award of T&P benefits. Defendants do not oppose a grant
of prejudgment interest. However, Defendants contend that
Plaintiff's proposed award is unreasonably excessive. The
Court agrees with Defendants.
stated in Quesinberry v. Life Ins. Co. of N. Am.,
987 F.2d 1017 (4th Cir. 1993):
ERISA does not specifically provide for pre-judgment
interest, and absent a statutory mandate the award of
pre-judgment interest is discretionary with the trial court.
The district court in this case exercised its discretion to
award pre-judgment interest in order to compensate Mr.
Quesinberry for the loss of the use of his funds. The rate of
pre-judgment interest for cases involving federal questions
is a matter left to the discretion of the district court.
Id. at 1030-31 (internal citations omitted).
period in question herein is a period during which the
Maryland common law rate (6% per annum) was substantially in
excess of market rates. Plaintiff's suggestion that the
Court should use this rate and, in addition, compound
interest monthly, is beyond the range of reasonable.
Moreover, Plaintiff has presented nothing to support the
contention that Defendants' having the use of
Plaintiff's money would have resulted in a gain to
Defendants or loss to Plaintiff at a rate at all near the 6%
common law rate. Yet, the rates proposed by Defendants also
do not appear appropriate.
the record does not refute Defendants' contention that
the Maryland rate was much higher than the true value of the
funds in question during the period at issue, the Court shall
award prejudgment interest commencing October 2010 as
Plaintiff contends but at one-half the Maryland common law
rate, 3% per annum, simple interest, calculated
Plaintiff's Motion for Prejudgment Interest [ECF No. ...