TAMPA — A Florida woman is suing a a health plan sponsor, alleging violation of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act.

Cynthia DeLaughter filed a class action complaint, individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated, Dec. 1 in U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida Tampa Division against ESA Management LLC, alleging the defendant failed to use reasonable care in communicating adequate notices.

According to the complaint, on Sept. 21, DeLaughter was terminated from her employment, rendering her a qualified beneficiary of a health plan under ERISA as amended by the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA). However, the suit says, ESA Management in its duty as plan sponsor, failed to provide participants and beneficiaries of the plan with adequate notices of their rights to continue health coverage. 

The plaintiff alleges ESA Management threatened class members of its ability to maintain their health coverage due to the defendant's failure to send the legal COBRA notice requirements.

DeLaughter seeks trial by jury, designate the plaintiff's counsel as class counsel, an order for the defendant to send out notices to class members, equitable relief, corrective notices, statutory penalties of $110 per day for every class member who received a defective notice, attorney fees, court costs, expenses and all relief the court deems just. The plaintiffs are represented by attorneys Luis A. Cabassa and Brandon J. Hill of Wenzel Fenton Cabassa PA in Tampa.

U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida Tampa Division Case number 16-cv-03302

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U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida Tampa Division
801 North Florida Avenue
Tampa, FL 33602

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