Joseph Clark

Joseph Clark

Proskauer Rose LLP

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Defined Benefit Plan Participants Have Standing to Pursue Fiduciary Breach Claims

A federal district court in Minnesota found that participants in a defined benefit pension plan had standing to assert claims that defendants breached their fiduciary duties by, among other things, shifting to an...more

12/4/2014 - Breach of Duty Defined Benefit Plans ERISA Fiduciary Liability Standing Statute of Limitations

The ERISA Litigation Newsletter - October 2014

Editor's Overview - The first article in this month's newsletter focuses on whether specific language in ERISA employer-provided disability insurance plans confer discretionary authority to plan administrators to...more

10/22/2014 - Delegation of Discretion Disability Insurance Employee Benefits ERISA Plan Administrators

A Court’s Review of a Disability Benefit Claim May Hinge on the Meaning “Satisfactory to Us”

Twenty-five years ago, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that courts should review an ERISA participant’s claim for benefits under a de novo standard of review unless the plan gives the plan fiduciary discretionary authority to...more

10/9/2014 - Benefit Plan Sponsors Contract Drafting de novo standard of review Disability Benefits Employee Benefits Employer Liability Issues ERISA

Equitable Surcharge Awarded to Life Insurance Plan Beneficiary

A federal district court in California awarded relief in the form of surcharge to a life insurance plan beneficiary who claimed that a plan administrator failed to provide complete and accurate information in response to...more

6/12/2014 - Beneficiaries Equitable Surcharge Life Insurance

Court Approves USERRA Class Action Settlement Over Pension Contributions

A federal district court in Colorado recently approved a settlement agreement resolving class action claims brought under the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA). The documents filed in support...more

6/2/2014 - Class Action Employee Benefits Pensions Settlement United Airlines USERRA

Despite Windsor, Federal Court Rejects Challenge to a Self-Insured ERISA Health Plan’s Denial of Coverage for Same-Sex Spouses

Following the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in US v. Windsor, the requirement that an ERISA health plan provide health coverage for same-sex spouses has often hinged on whether an employee benefit plan was insured or...more

5/22/2014 - Denial of Benefits DOMA Employee Benefits ERISA Marriage Marriage Equality Same-Sex Marriage SCOTUS US v Windsor

View From Proskauer: Investigating and Deciding Severance Benefits Claims

Plan administrators charged with administering Employee Retirement Income Security Act-governed severance plans are often confronted with the question of whether they should conduct an independent investigation into the...more

5/15/2014 - Employer Liability Issues ERISA Hiring & Firing Internal Investigations Plan Administrators Severance Agreements Severance Pay Termination

District Court Concludes Statute of Limitations Defense Must Be Asserted During Administrative Claims Process

Plan administrators sometimes are confronted with claims that appear untimely, but nevertheless focus solely on the substantive issue raised by the claim. A recent ruling from a federal district court in New Jersey suggests...more

5/2/2014 - Administrative Hearings Severance Agreements Statute of Limitations

The ERISA Litigation Newsletter - April 2014

This month we discuss the evolving case law on the issue of whether unpaid employer contributions due under a collective bargaining agreement can be viewed as plan assets such that the individuals who decide to withhold such...more

4/21/2014 - Breach of Duty Collective Bargaining ERISA Executive Compensation Fiduciary Duty Healthcare Healthcare Reform IRS Severance Pay Tax Reform

Providing A “Full and Fair Review” Does Not Make An ERISA Plan

A federal district court in Kansas concluded that attaching a statement of ERISA rights, i.e., a two page document listing and explaining the rights and protections provided by ERISA to plan participants, to a life insurance...more

3/5/2014 - Employee Benefits ERISA Life Insurance

Fiduciary Breach Claims Barred by ERISA’s Six-Year Statute of Limitations

The Eleventh Circuit recently dismissed a participant’s fiduciary breach claims against SunTrust’s 401(k) plan fiduciary committee members on the ground that the claims for imprudently selecting certain investment options was...more

3/5/2014 - 401k Breach of Duty ERISA Fiduciary Duty Statute of Limitations

The ERISA Litigation Newsletter - January 2014

This month we look at part three of our three part series on Class Actions. In part three, Robert Rachal and M. Todd Mobley address the role of experts in class certification post Wal-Mart and Comcast and how to use and...more

1/21/2014 - Blue Cross Burden of Proof Cafeteria Plans Class Action Class Certification Comcast Contraceptive Coverage Mandate Daubert Standards Discrimination ERISA Flexible Spending Accounts General Motors Health Savings Accounts Human Resources Professionals IRA Predominance Requirement Rule 23 Same-Sex Marriage SCOTUS Subject Matter Experts Wal-Mart

Regions Financial Agrees to Pay $22.5 Million to Settle ERISA Stock-Drop Litigation

According to a December 18, 2013 motion for preliminary approval, Regions Financial Corp. has agreed to pay $22.5 million to settle an ERISA stock-drop litigation pending in the Western District of Tennessee. Plaintiffs...more

1/6/2014 - ERISA Settlement Stocks

Supreme Court Affirms Enforceability of Plan Limitations Provision

Resolving a split among the Courts of Appeal, the United States Supreme Court affirmed the Second Circuit in finding enforceable a limitations provision in a long term disability ERISA plan that set forth the length of the...more

12/17/2013 - Disability Disability Insurance ERISA Hartford Life and Accident Insurance Company Heimeshoff v. Hartford Life & Accident Insurance Co. Proof of Loss SCOTUS Statute of Limitations

SunTrust Plan Participants’ Stock-Drop Claims Tossed A Second Time

A federal district court in Georgia recently dismissed a suit brought by participants in the SunTrust Bank 401(k) savings plan alleging fiduciary breaches based on defendants’ decision to continue permitting investment in...more

10/24/2013 - 401k Savings Plans Stocks Subprime Mortgages SunTrust

The ERISA Litigation Newsletter - October 2013

This month we return to the age-old question – "What makes someone a fiduciary?" As Nicole Eichberger explains, the Seventh Circuit reminded us that the meaning of a "functional fiduciary" depends on exercise/conduct in...more

10/18/2013 - DOL DOMA Employee Benefits ERISA Fiduciary Duty Life Insurance Litigation Strategies Same-Sex Marriage State of Celebration Tax Deductions

The ERISA Litigation Newsletter - September 2013

Editor's Overview - Health care issues make the headlines once again in this month's ERISA Litigation Newsletter. Tzvia Feiertag first provides practical and timely tips for insured ERISA health plan sponsors on...more

9/18/2013 - Benefit Plan Sponsors DOL DOMA Employee Benefits ERISA Healthcare MLR Rebate Same-Sex Marriage SCOTUS US v Windsor

Life Insurance Beneficiary Who Murdered Policyholder Is Not Entitled To Benefits

Applying the common law “slayer rule,” a federal district court in New York held that a beneficiary of an ERISA-governed life insurance plan forfeit his claim to insurance proceeds after he pled guilty to murdering the...more

9/11/2013 - Beneficiaries Denial of Benefits Eligibility ERISA Life Insurance Murder

Third Circuit Concludes That Insurer Did Not Breach its Fiduciary Duties in Paying Benefits Through A Retained Asset Account

The Third Circuit recently found that while a life insurance company acts as a fiduciary in choosing to use a retained asset account to distribute benefits, it did not breach its fiduciary duties in making that choice....more

8/26/2013 - Fiduciary Duty Life Insurance Retained Asset Accounts

Sixth Circuit Concludes That CBAs Vested Retirees Contribution-Free Health Benefits, Despite Side Letters To The Contrary

The Sixth Circuit affirmed a district court’s decision granting a permanent injunction in favor of M&G Polymers, USA LLC retirees who sought vested lifetime health care benefits....more

8/21/2013 - Healthcare Retirement

The ERISA Litigation Newsletter - August 2013

In this month's newsletter we address ten important issues to consider when drafting and amending a summary plan description. ...more

8/13/2013 - ERISA Litigation Strategies Summary Plan Description

Second Circuit Dismisses Lehman Brother’s ERISA Stock-Drop Action

The Second Circuit recently affirmed the dismissal of former Lehman Brothers employees’ fiduciary breach claims relating to their investment in the Lehman Brothers stock fund through their 401(k) plan. Rinehart v. Akers, 2013...more

7/24/2013 - Breach of Duty ERISA Fiduciary Duty Lehman Brothers Stock Trades

State Senate Committee Considers Flexible Work Scheduling Bill

California State Sen. Tom Berryhill (R-Modesto) recently introduced Senate Bill 607, reviving efforts to permit employers and employees to agree on flexible work schedules, such as four 10-hour days per week. Unionized...more

3/25/2013 - Over-Time Proposed Legislation Unions Work Schedules

State Legislature Clarifies Employees’ Right to Inspect Personnel Records

With the recent enactment of Assembly Bill 2674 (which became effective on January 1, 2013) and the corresponding amendments to California Labor Code section 1198.5, the legislature has clarified the extent of an employee’s...more

3/14/2013 - Hiring & Firing Inspections Personnel Records Recordkeeping Requirements Termination

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