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Tardio v. Boston Scientific Corporation U.S. Severance Plan For Exempt Employees

United States District Court, D. Minnesota

January 14, 2020

Robert Tardio, Plaintiff,
v.
Boston Scientific Corporation U.S. Severance Plan for Exempt Employees, Defendant.

          ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANT'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT

          Wilhelmina M. Wright United States District Judge

         This matter is before the Court on Defendant Boston Scientific Corporation U.S. Severance Plan for Exempt Employees' (BSC Severance Plan) motion for summary judgment. (Dkt. 19.) For the reasons explained below, the Court grants the motion.

         BACKGROUND

         Plaintiff Robert Tardio is a former employee of Boston Scientific Corporation (BSC).[1] Between July 2003 and May 2016, Tardio worked as a sales representative for BSC, selling medical-device products, including implantables, externals, and other accessories. Near the end of his employment with BSC, Tardio was a Principal Sales Representative in BSC's Cardiac Rhythm Management division. As an employee of BSC, Tardio participated in BSC's severance benefits plan, an unfunded benefits plan subject to the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). This action arises out of a severance-benefits dispute between Tardio and BSC Severance Plan.

         The relevant language of BSC's severance-benefits policy provides as follows:

The Plan provides Severance Benefits only in the event of a Layoff. If your employment terminates due to a Layoff while you are a Plan participant you will be entitled to receive Severance Benefits only if you satisfy all of the following conditions:
• You are given Notice that your employment will be involuntarily terminated due to a Layoff;
• You remain employed by the Company and actively at work until the date determined by the Company to be your last day of work . . .; and
• You continue to honor all contractual obligations you may have to the Company, including, without limitation, any confidentiality and nondisclosure agreement and restrictions on post-employment activities.
In addition, to be entitled to receive Severance Pay under the Plan, you must sign a Release Agreement by the deadline specified in that document, and you must not validly revoke it within the Revocation Period. . . .
To receive Severance Benefits, you must continue to satisfy all applicable conditions and eligibility requirements to the date you receive those benefits, and you must continue to honor all contractual obligations you may have to the Company, including, without limitation, any confidentiality and nondisclosure agreement and restrictions on post-employment activities. . . . If you fail to satisfy an applicable condition or eligibility requirement before all Severance Benefits have been provided to you, you will not be entitled to any Severance Benefits that have not been paid or otherwise provided.

         Under the “Layoff section, the policy provides that:

Regardless of whether you receive Notice, your termination of employment will not be considered a Layoff, and you will not receive Severance Benefits, if your employment terminates for any reason other than a Layoff. For example, you will not be considered to have a Layoff, and, therefore, you will not receive ...

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