Civil Procedure Labor & Employment Insurance

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Appellate Division Finds c.78 Health Benefits Contributions Requirements Do Not Apply to Public Sector Disability Retirees

Last month, in Brick Twp. PBA Local 230 v. Twp. of Brick, the Appellate Division of the Superior Court of New Jersey confirmed that N.J.S.A. 40A:10-21.1, P.L. 2011, c. 78, § 42, more commonly known as Chapter 78, does not...more

Life and Annuity Series: Class Certified in an ERISA “Unreasonable Compensation” Case

The Colorado federal court concluded last summer, in Teets v. Great-West Life & Ann. Ins. Co., that an insurer could be subject to ERISA liability for receiving unreasonable compensation in connection with a stable value...more

ERISA: Court’s Short Checklist to Reduce Plaintiff/Claimant Attorney Fees

Attorney fees in ERISA cases continue to be a challenge. What happens when both sides can claim wins during a case? What is a reasonable hourly rate for Plaintiff’s attorneys?...more

Eighth Circuit Finds That Insurance Coverage Extends To Fraudulent Losses Caused By Computer Hacker

On May 20, 2016, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit affirmed breach-of-contract claims brought by Minnesota-based State Bank of Bellingham (“Bellingham Bank”) against BancInsure Inc. (“BancInsure”), an insurance...more

ERISA: Reviewing What Needs to Be Proved to Establish the Suicide Exclusion

For many reasons, some of the toughest cases to litigate involve the application of the suicide exclusion. There is a growing body of evidence challenging suicide exclusion determinations....more

Supreme Court Decides Zubik v. Burwell and consolidated cases

Zubik v. Burwell and several consolidated cases challenged a federal regulation requiring employers to cover certain contraceptives as part of their health plans unless they submit a form either to their insurer or to the...more

Basic-Supplemental Life Insurance Plan Pricing Structure Upheld in ERISA Class Action

An employee benefit plan that includes an alleged subsidization component for its basic and supplemental options is neither prohibited by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) nor a violation of the plan...more

Supreme Court Limits ERISA Reimbursement Rights: Insurers Will Need to be Diligent

On January 20, 2016, the United States Supreme Court held that an ERISA plan could not satisfy its reimbursement rights from a participant’s general assets. ERISA plans’ reimbursement rights are now so limited that...more

Is Your Workers Compensation Program Unlawful?

A popular workers compensation insurance program offered by Berkshire Hathaway subsidiaries Applied Underwriters Captive Risk Assurance Company (Applied Underwriters) and California Insurance Company may be in trouble. On...more

Leave It to the Policyholder Professionals – Do Not Try This at Home

Recently, I was asked to look at coverage for a case where the insurer had denied a duty to defend several years before. We concluded that the insurer should have been defending based on certain allegations in the complaint...more

SCOTUS ERISA Cases, Part Two: Preemption of State Healthcare Claims Database

This is the second article of a three part series summarizing employee benefit issues that are being argued in front of the U.S. Supreme Court during the current October 2015 term. Part One provided an outline of Montanile v....more

Using Insurance to Counter the Wage-and-Hour Threat

Yesterday, businesses and their executives face an increased threat given the personal liability for officers, directors, managing agents and others as discussed in our recent alert, “California’s Fair Day’s Pay Act May...more

Supreme Court Exempts ERISA Plans from a State Reporting Law

In Gobeille, Chair of the Vermont Green Mountain Care Board v. Liberty Mutual Insurance Co., decided on March 1, 2016, the Supreme Court held that the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (“ERISA”) preempts...more

Life and Annuity Series: Significant Litigation Risks

WilmerHale Partner Charles Platt, a leading commercial litigator who is recognized nationally for his work defending financial services and insurance companies, periodically drafts legal news alerts for clients about the life...more

Gobeille v. Liberty Mutual: The Dog That Didn’t Bark, and the Next Front in the Preemption War

Recently, we reported on Gobeille v. Liberty Mutual, in which the Supreme Court invalidated the Vermont all-payer claims data base law. Applying what appeared to us as a straight-forward application of existing ERISA...more

Second Circuit Holds That HR Director May Be Individually Liable Under the FMLA Based On “Economic Realities” Analysis

It may not be well-known that the Family Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”) provides for individual, as well as corporate liability. Therefore, in a matter of importance to Human Resources personnel, supervisors, and their employers,...more

Individual Employees Can Be Sued For FMLA Violations, Court Rules

It’s been a big couple of days for court opinions. Today’s turn: FMLA lawsuits. When we last talked about the FMLA, it was in the context of the fact that sometimes things about the law are bit complicated....more

Dempsey v. Bagley, 2016 ABQB 124 - Lessors of Vehicles Still Vulnerable Under Workers Compensation Act

There were two motor vehicle accidents in the summer of 2006. The plaintiffs and the defendants involved in the accidents were employees of Brinks Canada Limited (“Brinks”). The vehicles in question were owned by PHH...more

Supreme Court Protects Health Insurers From Onerous State Claims Reporting

On Tuesday, March 1, 2016, the Supreme Court issued a ruling in Gobeille v. Liberty Mutual, finding that states do not have the authority to require self-insured plans (like Liberty Mutual Insurance Co.) to collect and report...more

Supreme Court Rules that ERISA Preempts Vermont Claims Reporting Requirement

The Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) made the regulation of employee benefit plans principally a matter of Federal concern. ERISA broadly and generally preempts—or renders inoperative—state laws that...more

ERISA Prevents Vermont from Requiring Self-Insured Health Plans to Provide Data Relating to Healthcare

Vermont and a few other states have adopted so-called “All-Payer Claims Databases” (“APCD”) in an effort to collect financial and other information relating to healthcare for purposes of controlling costs and generally...more

ACA Suit Challenging Reduction in Hours Allowed to Proceed

Many employers are still working to catch up to and understand the new requirements of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) – including the IRS, which has announced automatic extensions to certain reporting requirements for this...more

Collecting Another Supreme Win for ERISA Preemption - Court in Gobeille Invalidates Vermont Data Collection Law

The U.S. Supreme Court decided the case of Gobeille v. Liberty Mutual Insurance Co. last week, in which the Court invalidated a Vermont health care data collection law as being preempted by the Employee Retirement Income...more

Supreme Court Holds That ERISA Preempts State Health Care Services Disclosure Law

Preemption is not a foreign concept when dealing with the Employment Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA). Preemption arguments frequently and increasingly arise, for example, in the context of claims by health care...more

US Supreme Court Reaffirms ERISA Preemption Doctrine

The Court finds that ERISA preempts the state law “All Payer” data requirement. In a 6–2 decision issued on March 1, the US Supreme Court affirmed a US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit decision holding that the...more

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