In Apollo Education Group Inc. vs. Henry (Arizona) the company sought to recover damages from a third party paying due to an accident. The plan participant asserted that the plan had no right to reimbursement because the formal plan document did not contain any reimbursement provisions. The plan contended these rights were contained in the Summary Plan Description.
The court said the plan document was the controlling piece here. “The court rejected the plan’s argument that the documents were effectively one and the same due to the incorporation by reference, pointing to an SPD provision specifying that the formal plan document would govern any conflict as evidence that the documents were distinct