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En Banc Sixth Circuit Rules Against Disgorgement Remedy in Benefits Case

In Rochow v. Life Insurance Company of North America, No. 12-2074 (6th Cir. March 5, 2015), the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, sitting en banc, ruled that an insurance company that wrongfully denied benefits to...more

Disgorgement of Profits Not Available for Arbitrary and Capricious Benefits Denial – This Time

Wrongful denial of employee benefits will not expose plan fiduciaries to equitable remedies – such as disgorgement of profits – where restoration of benefits is adequate to make the claimant whole, says the Sixth Circuit in...more

Insights and Strategies on Class Action Litigation from General Counsel and Chief Legal Officers [Video]

To read the full 2015 Class Action Survey report, please visit ClassActionSurvey.com. Across industries, companies spent $2 billion on class action lawsuits in 2014, slightly less than the $2.1 billion they spent in 2013....more

ERISA: 6th Circuit — Plop Plop, Fizz Fizz: Oh What A RELIEF It Is: No Disgorgement For Arbitrary Denial Of Benefits

Does an arbitrary and capricious denial of ERISA governed disability benefits create a right to disgorgement of profits? NO....more

Revisiting Rochow: The Sixth Circuit Rejects Earlier $3.8 Million Equitable Award in Recent En Banc Decision

Just over a year ago, a panel decision by the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in Rochow v. Life Insurance Company of North America, 737 F.3d 415 made big news when the court upheld the district court’s award of $3.8 million in...more

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

District of Arizona: Employee’s Intentional, Incorrect, and Unreasonable Handling of Claim Subjects Insurer to Finding of Bad...

Haney v. ACE Am. Ins. Co., No. CV-13-02429-PHX-DGC, 2015 WL 58670 (D. Ariz. Jan. 5, 2015). District of Arizona: Court grants partial summary judgment on bad faith claim for failure of insurer to make retroactive...more

Seller Beware: Eighth Circuit Finds Insurer Potentially Liable for Enrollment Mistakes of Employer

In Silva v. Metropolitan Life Insurance Company, 762 F.3d 711 (8th Cir. 2014), the Eighth Circuit joined a number of other circuits in recognizing equitable remedies of reformation and surcharge based on a breach of fiduciary...more

California Sunshine Warms the Market: A Twist on Customer Non-Solicitation Provisions in the Golden State

Those of you reading our Employee Mobility blog posts are familiar with California’s unique approach to non-compete agreements: they are, except in a few limited circumstances, unenforceable in the Golden State. And that...more

ERISA Fiduciaries Have a Duty to Inform

SUMMARY: In this case, the court found that the employer, serving as plan administrator of a group life insurance plan providing basic and supplemental coverage, may be liable for monetary damages for breach of its fiduciary...more

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

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

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

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

The Latest on the Use of Retained Asset Accounts to Pay Life Insurance Benefits

In Merrimon v. Unum Life Insurance Co. of America, 2014 WL 2960024 (1st Cir. July 2, 2014), the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit became the third circuit court to approve an insurance company’s use of a retained...more

Fourth Circuit Rejects Widow’s Claim for Equitable Relief

The Fourth Circuit recently rejected fiduciary breach and equitable estoppel claims for life insurance coverage by Leslie Moon, the widow of a deceased employee, who claimed that the employer’s actions resulted in Mr. Moon’s...more

Equitable Surcharge Awarded to Life Insurance Plan Beneficiary

A federal district court in California awarded relief in the form of surcharge to a life insurance plan beneficiary who claimed that a plan administrator failed to provide complete and accurate information in response to...more

The Debate Continues Over The Fiduciary Status of 401(k) Plan Service Providers

In Golden Star Inc. v. MassMutual Life Ins. Co., 2014 WL 2117511 (D. Mass. May 20, 2014), a district court addressed two issues that have become hotly contested in 401(k) plan fee litigation: (1) whether and when a plan...more

Northern District of Iowa: Litigation “Reasonably Foreseeable” After Insured Accuses Insurer of Acting in Bad Faith

Meighan v. TransGuard Ins. Co. of Am., Inc., No. C13-3024-MWB, 2014 WL 1199596 (N.D. Iowa Mar. 24, 2014). The Northern District of Iowa finds that claim reserves and settlement information created after litigation was...more

Sixth Circuit Issues Shocking Opinion Against ERISA Insurer, Dramatically Changes The ERISA Landscape

In what can only be described as a shocking opinion, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals issued a 2-1 decision affirming a lower court's award of $3.8 million dollars in disgorged profits to a former president of Arthur J....more

In Abbott, Seventh Circuit Refines Applicability of Class Action Device in Defined Contribution Challenge

In its continuing analysis of when a class may be certified in a case alleging breach of fiduciary duties with respect to a defined contribution plan, the Seventh Circuit, in Abbott v. Lockheed Martin Corporation, reversed...more

In Pipefitters, Sixth Circuit Holds Service Provider Is Fiduciary in Assessing Fee

Speed Read - The Sixth Circuit, in a unanimous decision, affirmed a lower court ruling in Pipefitters Local 636 Insurance Fund v. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Michigan, holding that an entity providing services to a...more

New York Appellate Court Clarifies Fidelity Bond "Direct Loss" Requirement

In a unanimous July 16th decision, the New York Appellate Division held that MF Global, Inc.’s loss sustained on account of the commodities trading activities of its employee was a “direct financial loss” under MF Global’s...more

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