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Employment Reform Legislation Passes Tennessee Legislature

On April 16, 2014, the Tennessee General Assembly, at the urging of Baker Donelson, passed significant employment litigation reform that will benefit employers throughout Tennessee. The bill places caps on compensatory...more

ERISA (7th Cir.): Beneficiary and Attorney Who Ignore Subrogation Lien for Medical Bills Paid by ERISA Plan “Better Call Saul”

You have seen this one before: The ERISA plan pays hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical bills and secures an equitable lien. Then, the ERISA plan beneficiary settles a tort claim, but refuses to reimburse the ERISA...more

California Employment Law Notes - March 2014

$150,000 Sexual Harassment Verdict And $680,000 Fee Award Affirmed - Taylor v. Nabors Drilling USA, LP, 222 Cal. App. 4th 1228 (2014) Max Taylor worked as a floorhand on an oil rig where he alleged he was...more

U.S. Tax Court Decision Shows Importance of Carefully Drafting Settlement Agreements

In Sharp v. Commissioner, the United States Tax Court once again demonstrated the importance of carefully crafting settlement agreements and reaffirmed that emotional distress damages are taxable income to the recipient....more

California Employment Law Notes - November 2013

Employer Was Entitled To "Substantial Motivating Factor" Jury Instruction - Alamo v. Practice Mgmt. Info. Corp., 219 Cal. App. 4th 466 (2013) - In one of the first appellate opinions to consider the new jury...more

Indiana Court Clarifies Rights of Volunteer to Bring Claim Outside of Worker’s Compensation & Reach of Equine Activity Statute

This week we examine the issues of whether a volunteer who accepts medical benefits under a worker's compensation policy is bound to the Indiana Worker's Compensation Act for exclusive recovery. We also examine the Indiana...more

New Law on the Horizon for Illinois Employers Settling Tort Claims

On January 1, 2014, a new section of the Civil Practice Law, “Settlement of claims; payment” (735 ILCS § 5/2-2301), will take effect. The Illinois legislature passed the law in an effort to expedite the payment process in...more

The Supreme Court Defers to Plan Language in U.S. Airways, Inc. v. McCutchen

Summary - In U.S. Airways, Inc. v. McCutchen, the US Supreme Court recently considered whether certain equitable defenses override the terms of a welfare plan in a plan fiduciary's suit for reimbursement under §...more

NJ Supreme Court Clarifies Employee “Protected Activity”

The ruling provides guidance as to what employee conduct is protected under the antiretaliation provisions of two key state laws. On July 17, the Supreme Court of New Jersey issued a decision in Battaglia v. United...more

Express Plan Terms Allow Self-Insured Plan to Recover Medical Benefits Paid to Employee Post-McCutchen

In Quest Diagnostics v. Bomani, et al., 11-CV-00951 (D. Conn., June 19, 2013), the court granted Quest Diagnostic’s (“Quest”) motion for summary judgment, ruling that Quest, as the fiduciary to its self-insured medical plan,...more

Imminence of Harm is Not Required for Recovering Pure Economic Loss for Dangerous Defects

Lack of “imminent risk” does not bar recovery for economic loss arising from a dangerously defective structure, the Alberta Court of Appeal recently held. Typically, courts are reluctant to award lost profits or other...more

Group Health Plan Can Enforce Reimbursement Rights Against Trustee

On the heels of the United States Supreme Court’s recent holding in U.S. Airways v. McCutchen, where the Court held that a group health plan’s reimbursement rights are not automatically subject to equitable defenses, it...more

ERISA Litigation Alert: Check Your Plan Subrogation and Reimbursement Language to Eliminate “Contractual Gaps”

In U.S. Airways v. McCutchen, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the ability of U.S. Airways’ health plan to recover medical expenses that it previously paid to the injured party from a third party settlement, but remanded the...more

High Court Holds Equitable Defenses Do Not Trump ERISA Plan’s Clear Reimbursement Language

The Supreme Court’s April decision in U.S. Airways, Inc. v. McCutchen resolves a circuit split on the issue of a medical plan’s right to reimbursement of medical expenses from a plan participant who recovers on a personal...more

Supreme Court Clarifies Subrogation Rights, Emphasizes Need for Precise Plan Language

Plan sponsors, particularly those that sponsor self-funded health plans, should review plan document provisions in light of the recent decision of the Supreme Court of the United States in US Airways, Inc. v. McCutchen. In...more

Supreme Court Upholds Health Plan’s Right To Recover Money from Third Party

The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that the clear terms of an employer's group health plan override an employee's equitable defenses in determining the plan's right to recover amounts from a third party. This decision points...more

Supreme Court Rules on Equitable Defenses to Reimbursement Claim by Employee Health Plan

Executive Summary: Reimbursement claim brought under ERISA sec. 502(a)(3) was akin to “equitable lien by agreement,” and therefore could not be defeated by equitable defenses that contradicted plan terms. ...more

Supreme Court “Dooms” Equitable Defenses to Plan’s Reimbursement Provisions

In a prior blog, I discussed the importance of including unambiguous reimbursement rights in health plan documents in order to manage healthcare costs. The enforceability of such rights was confirmed by the United States...more

High Court Rules Equitable Defenses Don’t Override ERISA Plan Terms

On April 16, 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its decision in US Airways, Inc. v. McCutchen (No. 11–1285), deciding the issue of whether equitable defenses, such as the principle of unjust enrichment, can override the...more

U.S. Supreme Court: Equity Cannot Trump ERISA Plan Terms in ERISA Reimbursement Case

The U.S. Supreme Court yesterday strengthened the ability of employer health insurance plans to recoup payments for medical expenses paid for an injured plan participant who later sues to recover damages from a third...more

The U.S. Supreme Court Upholds Plan Sponsor’s Recovery Of Participant Damages Award

On April 16, 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its opinion in U.S. Airways, Inc. v. McCutchen finding in favor of U.S. Airways in its quest to recover $66,866 in medical expenses incurred by its employee as a result of a...more

U.S. Supreme Court Rules That Plan Terms Trump Equitable Defenses

Today, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its ruling in U.S. Airways, Inc. v. McCutchen in which the Court unanimously ruled that a clearly drafted reimbursement clause will trump all equitable defenses....more

School Board Liability for Sexual Abuse of Students by Staff - An Area to be Watched

In the last year, there have been two Ontario trial decisions dealing with sexual abuse of students by teachers. While we are still awaiting the full decision in the second case, it appears these cases may have yielded...more

Presentation - Social Networking: An Ethical Issues Update.

The ethical issues surrounding the use of social media in the legal environment is constantly evolving, making it very important for attorneys to keep abreast of recent decisions, regulatory initiatives and legislative...more

Does Your CEO Own Her LinkedIn Account? One Court Says Yes, But…

In legal circles, we’ve all been anxiously awaiting a result in the case of Eagle v. Morgan (download here) – a case out of Pennsylvania where the issue who owned a LinkedIn page and contacts (the employee vs. the employer)...more

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