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How to Settle an ERISA Breach of Fiduciary Duty Case and Sleep at Night: A Checklist for Plan Trustees to Consider

Plan trustees often look to settle ERISA fiduciary breach claims brought against them as a way to put the past behind them. Assuming there is enough fiduciary liability insurance coverage available to pay the proposed...more

Insurer Agrees to $140 Million Settlement in ERISA Case Challenging Revenue Sharing Practices

Nationwide Life Insurance Co. has agreed to settle ERISA fiduciary breach claims brought on behalf of a class of retirement plan trustees that purchased annuity contracts and/or services from Nationwide for their plans....more

Often Overlooked, but Effective, Provisions to Consider for your Benefit Plans

The Issue: When benefits under welfare plans – such as health plans and disability plans – are denied, litigation frequently results. In the context of “self-funded” plans (in contrast to “fully insured” plans, which are...more

Court Rejects Fiduciary Duty Breach by Claims Administrator Acting on Behalf of Plan Sponsor

In the recently decided matter of Van Loo, et al. v. Cajun Operating Company, et al., No. 2:2014cv10604 (E.D. Mich. 2014), the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan rejected allegations of a fiduciary duty...more

Detailing Provisions of “Obamacare” Affecting Individuals

In Fact Sheet 2014-09, November, 2014, the IRS provides details on “Obamacare”, technically known as the Affordable Care Act (the “ACA”). However, the Fact Sheet does not discuss a case currently before the U.S. Supreme...more

Not All Vice Presidents Are Officers and Entitled to Corporate Indemnification

Aleynikov v. Goldman Sachs Grp., Inc. - Addressing the meaning of the term “officer” in a company’s bylaws, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit vacated a district court’s summary judgment that a computer...more

Supreme Court will hear King v. Burwell

On November 7, the Supreme Court announced it would hear its second significant legal challenge to the Affordable Care Act (ACA). King v. Burwell, expected to be heard this spring and ruled on by the end of June, is a direct...more

Supreme Court Grants Review in ACA Tax Subsidies Case

The Supreme Court announced on Friday that it would hear King v. Burwell, a case challenging whether tax subsidies are available to individuals purchasing health insurance through the Federal exchange rather than State...more

U.S. Supreme Court Agrees to Hear Arguments Involving Federal Health Insurance Exchange Subsidies

On Friday, the U.S. Supreme Court announced that it would review the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit’s decision in King v. Burwell. In that case, the Fourth Circuit held that tax credits for health insurance...more

Supreme Court to Decide Who Is Entitled to the Federal Health Care Subsidy

Are the federal government’s subsidies to purchasers of health insurance available only to those who purchase insurance from state-run exchanges or to those who purchase from federal health care exchanges as well? Was the...more

Insurance Coverage – Duty to Defend – Sexual Assault Claim

Insurance Coverage – Duty to Defend – Sexual Assault Claim - Court Of Appeal, Second Appellate District (October 6, 2014) - Most commercial general liability policies provide coverage for negligent acts only. ...more

Supreme Court of Mississippi Affirms Disclaimer Based on Professional Liability Exclusion

In its recent decision in Gray v. Arch Specialty Ins. Co., 2014 Miss. LEXIS 534 (Miss. Oct. 23, 2014), the Supreme Court of Mississippi had occasion to consider whether allegations against a paramedic company for negligent...more

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

Life Insurer Prevails in First Circuit Appeal in ERISA Class Action Challenging Retained Asset Accounts

In a unanimous panel decision, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit reversed a trial court’s ruling that the defendant, Unum Life Insurance Company of America (Unum), had breached fiduciary duties under the...more

Absent an Initial Showing That It Is a Fiduciary, Employer Is Immune from Breach of Fiduciary Liability Claim under ERISA in the...

In Moon v. BWX Technologies, Inc., 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 12525 (4th Cir. July 2, 2014), the Fourth Circuit rejected fiduciary breach and equitable estoppel claims, determining that an employer’s failure to alert an employee...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

Concurrent Causation from "A Medley of Interesting Disability Cases"

Facts and holding: Rita Kruk (“Kruk”), a Human Resources Specialist, was a participant in an ERISA plan provided through her employment that provided disability benefits. Kruk’s Plan stated that if a disability was due to a...more

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

You’re Not on the List: Failure to Name Names Knocks Lloyd’s Out of Federal Court

It is impossible today to imagine a world without insurance. Individuals can’t buy houses or cars without insuring them against loss. Businesses cannot operate without any number of coverages—against damage to their...more

First Circuit Rules for Insurers in Two Retained Asset Account Cases; An Insurer Does not Need “to Don the Commercial Equivalent...

The First Circuit recently decided two ERISA cases challenging the use of retained asset accounts in favor of the insurer-defendants. The decisions are Merrimon v. Unum Life Ins. Co. of Am., 758 F.3d 46, 50 (1st Cir. 2014)...more

District Court Certifies Class Challenging ERISA Plan Amendment

The Eastern District of Michigan has certified a class of ERISA plan participants challenging an amendment which, in attempt to address the plan’s underfunded status, reduced their monthly disability payments. The Court...more

Pruitt v. Burwell Ruling Unlikely to have Major Impact on Employers in Near Term

AffOn Tuesday, September 30, federal Judge Ronald White of the Eastern District of Oklahoma ruled in Pruitt v. Burwell that the plain text of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (“PPACA”) does not allow for the...more

Post navigation Texas Court Holds Insurer Prejudiced By Late Notice

In its recent decision in C.L. Thomas v. Lexington Ins. Co., 2014 Tex. App. LEXIS 10148 (Tex. App. Sept. 11, 2014), the Court of Appeals of Texas had occasion to consider whether an insurer was prejudiced by untimely notice...more

Third Circuit Affirms Dismissal of Excessive Fee Claims Against Insurer

The Third Circuit has affirmed dismissal of all claims against the insurer in a 401(k) excessive fee suit, rejecting arguments that the insurer is an ERISA fiduciary for its product's fees, even where the service provider has...more

Pennsylvania Magistrate Judge Recommends That Plaintiff’s Claims Be Barred in Their Entirety by Application of the Doctrine of...

In the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, applying the doctrine of collateral estoppel, a Magistrate Judge issued a Report and Recommendation granting an individual disability insurer summary judgment on an insured’s claims...more

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