Mark Thomas

Mark Thomas

Williams Mullen

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Plaintiffs’ Misdirected Demand for Documents Fails, and Their Claim for ERISA Civil Penalties Is Dismissed: Boyd v. Sysco...

A federal court dismissed the plaintiffs’ claim to recover civil penalties for failure to provide plan documents requested by the plaintiffs. Boyd v. Sysco Corporation, No. 4:13-cv-00599 (D. S. C. September 3, 2015), provides...more

9/17/2015 - Administrative Appeals Benefit Plan Sponsors Disclosure Requirements ERISA Group Health Insurance Insurance Litigation Plan Administrators Plan Documents Summary Judgment Summary Plan Description

State Law Claim for Invasion of Privacy Escapes ERISA Preemption: Rose v. HealthComp, Inc.

A federal court recently held that the plaintiff’s claims under state law survived ERISA preemption, and remanded the case to state court to determine the plaintiff’s claims for invasion of privacy and unfair business...more

9/1/2015 - Employer Liability Issues ERISA Invasion of Privacy Medical Records Preemption Remand State Law Claims Termination Third-Party Service Provider Unfair or Deceptive Trade Practices

Health Care Providers Lacked Standing to Sue as ERISA Beneficiaries: Rojas v. Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company

The U. S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit has affirmed a dismissal of claims by two physicians and their medical practice asserting standing under ERISA to enjoin an insurer from removing them from its coverage...more

7/27/2015 - Assignments CIGNA ERISA Healthcare Overpayment Physicians

ERISA Case Highlights Importance of Written Releases at Termination of Employment: Sullivan v. Stanadyne Corporation

A federal court has dismissed claims for enhanced retirement benefits in a case highlighting a participant’s written release of claims at the time of his employment termination. Sullivan v. Stanadyne Corporation, Case No....more

6/29/2015 - Bonuses ERISA Hiring & Firing Release Agreements Retirement Plan Severance Agreements Stock Options

Participant’s Estate Fails to Show a Claim For Failure to Give Notice of Right to Continue Life Insurance Coverage: Estate of...

Providing a practical lesson on determining a duty to give notice to ERISA participants, the U. S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida dismissed the claim by the estate of an ERISA group life insurance plan...more

4/27/2015 - ERISA Former Employee Insurance Litigation Life Insurance Notice Requirements

Sixth Circuit Overturns the Lower Court’s Award of $3.8 Million in Alleged Profits Arising From a Denial of Benefits

The U. S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, sitting en banc, has overturned the decision of a divided three-judge Sixth Circuit panel which had affirmed the district court’s award of $3.8 million of “disgorged” profits,...more

3/12/2015 - Appeals Denial of Benefits Disability Benefits Disgorgement Insurance Litigation

Court Holds That Physician’s State Law Claim For Disability Benefits Is Preempted by ERISA: Hershan v. Unum Group Corporation

A federal court has held that a radiologist’s state law contract claim for certain disability insurance benefits arose under a welfare benefit plan governed by ERISA and was therefore preempted by ERISA. In Hershan v. Unum...more

3/2/2015 - Disability Benefits Disability Insurance ERISA Physicians Preemption

Ex-Husband Fails in Attempt to Use Texas Law to Impose Constructive Trust on Former Spouse’s Survivor Annuity

A former husband’s attempt to use Texas law to deprive his first wife of a survivor annuity under his pension plan has been firmly rejected by the U. S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. Vanderkam v. Vanderkam,...more

1/30/2015 - Annuities Constructive Trusts Divorce ERISA Pensions Spouses

In Post-Dudenhoeffer Decision, Class Action Plaintiffs Are Allowed to Pursue Their Claims For Fiduciary Breach Against Eastman...

A federal district court has permitted plaintiffs to pursue class actions against the fiduciaries of two Eastman Kodak defined contribution plans on the ground that those fiduciaries failed to prudently manage the plan funds....more

12/23/2014 - Benefit Plan Sponsors Breach of Duty Class Action ESOP Fiduciary Duty FIfth Third Bancorp v Dudenhoeffer Kodak Retirement Plan SIP Stock Drop Litigation

Misclassified Employees Not Barred From Recovering Damages Based on Value of ERISA Plan Benefits They Should Have Been Provided:...

A federal court has held that plaintiffs who proved they had been misclassified as independent contractors, and should have been considered employees, could recover money damages under state law based on the value of the...more

9/26/2014 - Damages Delivery Drivers Employee Definition Employer Liability Issues ERISA FedEx Independent Contractors Misclassification Preemption

Fourth Circuit Adopts More Demanding Test for Exercise of Objective Prudence by Retirement Plan Fiduciaries -Tatum v. RJR Pension...

In the latest ruling in a long-running battle arising from company stock fund divestments, the U. S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit has underscored the importance of procedural prudence in the management of plan...more

8/7/2014 - 401k Appeals Divestiture Duty of Prudence ERISA Fiduciary Duty Pensions Retirement Plan RJ Reynolds

D.C. Circuit Rules That "Exhaustion of Administrative Remedies" Is Not Required For Violations of ERISA’S Statutory Guarantees:...

The U. S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit has joined five other federal circuits to rule that pension plan participants need not exhaust a plan’s internal remedial procedures before they file suit in...more

7/8/2014 - Administrative Appeals Employee Benefits ERISA

Seventh Circuit Interprets ERISA’s Statute of Limitations for Fiduciary Breach: Fish v. GreatBanc Trust Company

The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals in Fish v. GreatBanc Trust Company, No. 12-3330 (7th Cir. May 14, 2014), has issued a decision that clarifies the rules for suits for fiduciary breach under ERISA. The decision primarily...more

5/30/2014 - Breach of Duty ERISA Fiduciary Duty Popular Statute of Limitations

“You Can’t Bend It That Way, Beckham”: Federal Court Dismisses Plaintiff’s Attempted Claims for Equitable Relief

Following the U. S. Supreme Court’s decision in CIGNA Corp. v. Amara, 131 S. Ct. 1866 (2011), the federal courts have wrestled with the task of defining the scope of remedies for “appropriate equitable relief” under ERISA §...more

4/28/2014 - CIGNA v Amara Equitable Relief ERISA SCOTUS

Court Holds That ERISA Plaintiff Cannot Claim Equitable Remedies When the Plaintiff Has Adequate Remedies to Recover Plan...

A federal court has ruled that, although a recent U. S. Supreme Court decision expanded the kinds of equitable remedies available to a plaintiff under ERISA § 502(a)(3), those remedies are still unavailable when the ERISA...more

2/20/2014 - Aetna CIGNA Employee Benefits Equitable Relief ERISA SCOTUS

The Devil Is In Those Details: Supreme Court Holds That the Clock for the Appeal of an ERISA Decision Began Running Sooner Than...

The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that the plaintiffs, a group of union-affiliated employee benefit funds (the Funds), waited too late to give notice of their appeal from the trial court’s judgment on the merits of their case...more

1/29/2014 - ERISA Ray Haluch Gravel v International Union of Operating Engineers SCOTUS Statute of Limitations Unions

Court’s Award of $3.8 Million Raises Questions About the Scope of ERISA Remedies

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit has affirmed an unusually large award of $3.8 million in a case involving the denial of long-term disability benefits. In Rochow v. Life Insurance Company of North America, No....more

1/23/2014 - Denial of Benefits Disability Benefits Disability Insurance Disgorgement ERISA Fiduciary Liability Plan Administrators

Court Holds That Plan Sponsor’s SEC Filings Were Incorporated By Reference Into Retirement Plan’s Summary Plan Description and...

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has held that an ERISA-regulated employee stock-ownership retirement plan’s incorporation by reference of the plan sponsor’s statements to the Securities and Exchange Commission...more

10/29/2013 - Amgen Inc. v Connecticut Retirement Plans Fiduciary Duty Incorporation by Reference Retirement Plan SEC Stock Options Summary Plan Description

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