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Oregon State Court of Appeals Recognizes Federal Slayer Law

Oregon, like many states, has on its books a “slayer statute,” which generally prohibits a slayer or abuser of a decedent from obtaining benefits by virtue of the death of the decedent. The parents of Julianne Herinckx...more

The ERISA Litigation Newsletter - August 2016

Editor's Overview - This month’s newsletter features an article on the DOL’s recently published interim final rule that increases penalties for notice and disclosure violations, which generally became effective on...more

The ERISA Litigation Newsletter - February 2016

Editor's Overview - This month's article reviews a few non-ERISA cases before the U.S. Supreme Court, which may, depending on the breadth of the decisions, impact ERISA litigation. First, in Spokeo, Inc. v. Robins, the...more

The ERISA Litigation Newsletter - January 2016

Editor's Overview - Happy New Year! Because 401(k) plans play an increasingly prominent role as an employee's principal retirement investment vehicle, fiduciaries overseeing those plans face increased pressure to see...more

Third Circuit Says ERISA Administrative Appeal Denial Letters Must State Plan-Imposed Time Limits

The Third Circuit recently held that ERISA administrative appeal denial letters must include plan-imposed time limits for commencing a lawsuit challenging the claim denial, and the failure to provide such notice warranted...more

Second Circuit: FAA Mandates Stay of Claims Pending Arbitration

The Second Circuit recently held in Katz v. Cellco P’Ship d/b/a/ Verizon Wireless, Nos. 14-138, 14-291, 2015 WL 4528658 (2d Cir. July 28, 2015) that, under the Federal Arbitration Act (“FAA”), district courts must stay all...more

Supreme Court Denies Review of Fourth Circuit Loss Causation Case

The U.S. Supreme Court recently declined to grant certiorari to review the Fourth Circuit’s decision in RJR Pension Investment, et al. v. Tatum, 761 F.3d 363 (4th Cir. 2014). As we previously reported, a divided panel of the...more

GM Not Obligated to Make $450 Million Contribution to Fund Union Retiree Health Benefits

The Sixth Circuit held that GM was not obligated to contribute $450 million to fund retiree health benefits for UAW members because the most recent contract between the UAW and GM extinguished GM’s former obligation to...more

The ERISA Litigation Newsletter - May 2015

Editor's Overview - This month we focus on the EEOC's proposed rules concerning wellness programs. As our colleague, Amy Covert, discusses, a recent change of position by the EEOC provides employers with opportunities...more

First Circuit Reviews Top Hat Plan Benefits Denial for Abuse of Discretion

The First Circuit recently applied an abuse of discretion standard of review to a claim for top hat plan benefits. Plaintiff Robert Niebauer, a former executive of Crane, brought a claim for executive severance plan benefits...more

The ERISA Litigation Newsletter - April 2015

Editor's Overview - In this month's Newsletter, Robert Rachal discusses recent "church plan" rulings where some federal judges have declined to give deference to long-standing, consistent guidance from the Internal...more

US Supreme Court to Consider ERISA’s Tracing Requirements

On March 30, the U.S. Supreme Court announced it would review Bd. of Trustees of Nat. Elevator Indus. Health Ben. Plan v. Montanile, 593 F. App’x 903 (11th Cir. 2014)....more

The ERISA Litigation Newsletter - March 2015

Editor's Overview - This month's newsletter discusses how to avoid liability under ERISA through plan design, including statute of limitations provisions, venue provisions, and anti-assignment provisions. Courts have...more

Fifth Circuit: Hospital Enjoys Standing to Seek ERISA Benefits

The Fifth Circuit ruled that an out-of-network medical provider that was assigned a patient’s rights to health insurance benefits has standing to sue a health plan that underpays its portion of the benefits due even if the...more

Same-Sex Spouse Has No Standing to Assert COBRA Notice Claim

A New Jersey federal district court held (in an unpublished opinion) that a former plan participant’s same-sex spouse who never enrolled in the benefit plan did not have standing to assert a claim alleging that his spouse’s...more

Eleventh Circuit Enforces Subrogation Clause

The Eleventh Circuit recently concluded that Robert Montanile, a welfare plan participant, could not avoid reimbursing the National Elevator Industry Health Benefit Plan for benefits it paid on his behalf after he recovered...more

Tenth Circuit Finds Plan Administrator Has No Duty to Inquire into Authenticity of Participant’s Beneficiary Designation

Plaintiff Kristopher Towles, the son of a deceased participant of a life insurance plan, challenged the plan’s decision to pay the life insurance proceeds to the deceased’s husband, contending that the beneficiary form...more

Fifth Circuit Refuses Application of Bright-Line Test in FLSA Seaman Exemption Dispute

On November 13, 2014, the Fifth Circuit handed down its opinion in Coffin v. Blessey Marine Services, Inc., No. 13-20144, 2014 WL 5904734 (5th Cir. Nov. 13, 2014). The opinion addressed several key factors related to the...more

Eighth Circuit Says That Considerations Of Health Care Cost Savings Could Be Proxy For Age In ADEA Suits

The Eighth Circuit recently concluded that an employer may violate the ADEA by terminating an older employee in order to reduce its health care premiums. Tramp v. Associated Underwriters, Inc., 2014 WL 4977396 (8th Cir....more

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