Nicolas v. MCI Health and Welfare Plan No. 501, --- F.Supp.2d ----, 2006 WL 2805631(E.D.Tex. Jan 11, 2006) (NO. CIV.A. 205CV442(TJW))
Judge: T. John Ward
Holding: Defendant's Motion to Dismiss DENIED
This is a claim for long term disability benefits. The defendant moved to dismiss for improper venue asserting that a forum selection clause requires cases to be brought elsewhere. Judge Ward held that the sole issue before the Court was whether the forum selection clause in the Plan superseded the statutory framework enunciated by Congress in the ERISA statutes, and that this issue was a matter of first impression. Judge Ward found that the policies of the ERISA statutory framework supersede the general policy of enforcing forum selection clauses, and denied the motion to dismiss or transfer the case.