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Connecticut Supreme Court Issues Important Clarification For Independent Contractor Test

On March 21, 2017, the Connecticut Supreme Court issued an important ruling, finding that an individual may be still considered an independent contractor under the state’s Unemployment Insurance Act even if he/she only...more

Wisconsin Unemployment Insurance Benefits Upon Discharge for Absenteeism – the Employer’s Policy May Be More Generous, But Not...

The Wisconsin Court of Appeals issued a decision in an unemployment insurance benefits case on March 8 that provides clarity where an employee is discharged for absenteeism. The case is Wisconsin Department of Workforce...more

Labor Department Boosts Disability Claimant Protections

The U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL) recently issued a final rule addressing disability benefit claims and appeals (see 81 FR 92316). The rule adds new procedural protections and safeguards meant to ensure disability...more

California Supreme Court Upholds Public Retirement Boards' Fiduciary Role When Adjudicating Disability Retirement Applications

In a victory for the San Bernardino County Employees’ Retirement Association (“SBCERA”) and the nineteen other county retirement systems administered under the County Employees Retirement Law of 1937 (Gov. Code, § 31450 et...more

ERISA: 7 Things to Know About Limited Discovery in ERISA Long Term Disability Cases

You already know that discovery in ERISA cases is generally limited because of the “significant ERISA policy interests of minimizing costs of claim disputes and ensuring prompt claims-resolution procedures.”...more

Illinois Supreme Court Holds Occupational Disease Pension Does Not Trigger Health Insurance Benefits

In 2003, the Illinois Supreme Court held that anyone who qualified for a line-of-duty pension under section 4-110 of the Illinois Pension Code qualified as having a “catastrophic injury” within the meaning of Section 10(a) of...more

Indiana Applies Heightened Summary Judgment Standard In Determining Vicarious Liability For An Employee Driving A Provided Company...

For an employee, the opportunity to drive a company vehicle is certainly a job perk. For an employer, however, issuing company vehicles comes with the risk that it may be held liable for any negligence of the employee arising...more

Three Point Shot - February 2017

Ski Manufacturer Chills Bode Miller's Comeback - World champion skier and six-time Olympic medalist Samuel "Bode" Miller had his eye on coming out of retirement for the 2016-17 season before a contract dispute with his...more

Pennsylvania District Court Rejects Effort to Certify Retained Asset Account Claims Against Prudential

In Huffman v. Prudential, a federal judge in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania recently rejected the plaintiffs’ effort to certify for class adjudication a claim for alleged breach of ERISA (alternatively, state law)...more

Retail and Consumer Products Law Roundup - December 2016

How Retailers Can Avoid Regulatory Scrutiny During Holiday Season - With the holiday season often accounting for one-third of a retailer’s annual sales, competition can be fierce. Tempting as it is to grab for every...more

Life Insurance Industry Loses Challenge to Department of Labor Fiduciary Liability Rules

The National Association for Fixed Annuities v. Perez, Civ. 16-1035 (RDM), United States District Court for the District of Columbia, November 4, 2016 In a widely anticipated ruling, the National Association for Fixed...more

New York’s Highest Court Rules that Yoga Instructors are Independent Contractors: But Can Other Employers Hold that Pose?

The New York State Court of Appeals and New York City recently provided additional guidance for – and imposed additional requirements on – New York employers that use independent contractors. In In re Yoga Vida NYC, Inc....more

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

California Appellate Court Takes Equitable Subrogation to the Excess

In California, where a primary insurer is found to have unreasonably failed to settle within its policy limits, and a judgment is later entered against their insured in excess of those limits, the primary carrier can be...more

New York’s Highest Court: No “Stretch” in Yogi’s Independent Contractor Classification

Seyfarth Synopsis: The New York Court of Appeals recently rejected the narrow view of the Unemployment Insurance Appeal Board and found that substantial evidence did not support a finding that certain yoga instructors were...more

Washington Supreme Court: Corporate Attorney’s Communications with Former Employees Not Privileged

The Supreme Court of Washington recently held that the attorney-client privilege does not protect a corporation’s attorney’s communications with former employees of the corporation, even if the communications concern events...more

A Question of Timing – Social Security Disability Determinations and the Administrative Record

Seyfarth Synopsis: Court excludes evidence of Social Security disability award issued after the final decision issued on plaintiff’s claim for plan disability benefits. The decision accentuates the importance of fighting to...more

Dealing with Long-Winded Out-of-Network Provider Nuisance Letters

Over the past couple years, more and more of my clients with self-funded plans have received letters from out-of-network providers appealing denied claims. The letters are usually 20 to 30 pages long, not very specific, and...more

CT Supreme Court Permits a Workers' Compensation Insurer to Sue Third Parties for Reimbursement

In a decision to be officially released on September 27, 2016, the Connecticut Supreme Court holds that a workers’ compensation insurer can maintain an equitable subrogation claim against third-party tortfeasors to recover...more

Louisiana Supreme Court Adopts Pro Rata Allocation of Defense Costs Among Insurers and Insured

On September 7, 2016, the Louisiana Supreme Court applied, for the first time, a pro rata allocation method to defense costs where commercial general liability policies provided coverage during a portion of the time of...more

Louisiana Supreme Court Adopts Time on the Risk Allocation for Defense Costs

In its recent decision in Arceneaux v. Amstar Corp., 2016 La. LEXIS 1675 (La. Sept. 7, 2016), the Supreme Court of Louisiana had occasion to consider whether an insured must bear a pro rated share of defense costs for...more

Hospital and Fixed Indemnity Policies; Excepted Benefits; Supplemental Coverage under Recently Proposed Treasury Regulations; and...

We reported in a recent post on proposed regulations dealing with, among other things, the treatment of hospital indemnity or other fixed indemnity insurance products in the group market. This post takes a closer look at the...more

Michigan Health Insurance Claims Assessment Act is Not Preempted by ERISA

The Sixth Circuit, has decided, on remand from the Supreme Court, that the Michigan Health Insurance Claims Assessment Act (Act) is not preempted by ERISA. The Act imposes a 1 percent tax on all paid claims by insurers or...more

ERISA Preempts State Law Requiring Insurer “Prompt Payment”

Alaska’s prompt pay statute—which requires insurers to pay benefit claims within 30 days of submission—is preempted by federal laws governing employer-provided benefits and benefits for government workers, a federal judge...more

Where Does a Third Party “Stand” on Liens?

Dion v. William Robert Batten, Sr. (8/2/16) Facts and Procedural History: Plaintiff was employed by Neuwirth as a servicing agent. In the course and scope of his employment with Neuwirth, he was involved in a car...more

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