A nonsmoking employee brought an action seeking benefits under the Employer Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) pension plan. The employee of the defendant employer (the NYNEX Corporation) covered by the defendant NYNEX Pension Plan had an allergic reaction to tobacco smoke and ceased working. The defendants determined that she could return to work before the expiration of the 52-week period of disability benefits necessary for a disability pension under the plan. She did not return and was subsequently terminated. Pagan’s own physician had told the company that the plaintiff could work in a smoke-free area. The U.S. District Court granted summary judgment to the defendants since the pension plan’s determination the Pagan could return to work did not violate the terms of the plan.
846 F. Supp. 19 (S.D. N.Y. 1994).