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Can't You Hear Me Knocking? Amending ERISA

On October 15, 2013, the United States Supreme Court issued its opinion in Heimeshoff v. Hartford Life & Accident Ins. Co., 134 S.Ct. 604 (2013). The specific question before the Court in that case, as expressly stated by...more

The Scope of Commercial General Liability Policies Continues to Shrink

Watch out for those Employment Practice Liability “EPL” exclusions. The courts have routinely upheld these exclusions now explicitly added to both the Coverage A (bodily injury and property damage) and the Coverage B...more

Texas Supreme Court oral arguments (9/14)

No. 12-0803 -- Texas Dep't of Aging & Disability Servs. v. Cannon -- The plaintiff brought a wrongful-death case against the department and department employees. The department moved to dismiss the employees, arguing that...more

ERISA Fiduciary Obligations: More on Application to Life Insurance Coverage

This article examines the case of Biller v. Prudential Insurance, in which the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia denied a motion to dismiss a claim brought against an employer by the beneficiaries of a...more

District Court in 11th Circuit Deems Claim for Equitable Relief Appropriate under Amara and Varity

Yet again, the Court has been called upon to negotiate the juxtaposition between Varity and Amara. According to the Complaint in Biller v. Prudential Ins. Co. and Six Continents Hotels, Inc., 2014 U.S. Dist. Lexis 118577,...more

May v. AT & T Umbrella Benefit Plan No. 1: Independent Physician Reviews of the "Paper File" Under Fire

On August 25, 2014, the Ninth Circuit upheld a District Court decision that an ERISA administrator’s denial of a short-term disability (STD) benefit claim may not be based solely on an independent physician’s review of the...more

Alberta Pension Reform: Getting Started on Plan Compliance Amendments

Effective September 1, 2014, the new Alberta Employment Pension Plans Act (New EPPA) and Employment Pension Plans Regulation (New Regulation) came into force. Pension plans registered in Alberta, as well as plans registered...more

Fatal Blow to Healthcare Reform? Courts split on federal tax credit

On July 22, 2014, two federal courts came down on opposite sides of an issue that may have far-reaching consequences about the future of the Patient Protection and Affordance Care Act ("PPACA"). At stake is whether the PPACA...more

New Money Market Fund Rules Require Review by Retirement Plan Sponsors

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) recently amended the rules governing money market funds in an effort to increase the stability and liquidity of these funds in times of economic stress. Money market funds...more

California Repeals 60-Day Limit on Waiting Periods

On August 15, 2014, California passed Senate Bill 1034, which repealed an insurance law (Assembly Bill 1083) that prohibited insurance companies from including waiting periods in excess of 60 days in their group health...more

Business Law Newsletter - Septermber 2014

In This Issue: - Monkeying around with Copyright Laws - Who can Own a Copyright? - Restrictions in Franchise Agreements Narrowly Construed - The Eight Corners Rule and the District of Columbia -...more

LTD insurance requirements coming soon for Ontario employers

As part of the 2014 Ontario budget, which was passed on July 24, 2014, the Ontario government proposed to amend the Insurance Act (Ontario) by requiring mandatory insurance of long-term disability (“LTD”) benefits provided by...more

U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit to Rehear ACA Subsidy Challenge

On September 4, 2014, the D.C. Circuit vacated a panel decision in Halbig v. Burwell (Civ. No. 14-5018) striking down the federal government’s provision of premium subsidies to individuals purchasing coverage through the...more

Arrogance is a bad trait for a 401(k) plan decision maker

Regardless of the business you’re in, one of the worst thing you can do in being the decision maker for your retirement plan is that you know better than most retirement plan professionals. No plan sponsor likes to get...more

Plan Administration Changes in New Alberta Pension Legislation: Make Sure You Are in Compliance (Part II of II)

In this post, we discuss the amendments in the new Employment Pension Plans Act (EPPA) and the accompanying Employment Pension Plans Regulation (EPPR), which came into force on September 1, 2014, with respect to plan...more

Where Oh Where Could They Be? Finding Missing Participants Under the New DOL Guidance

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has issued updated guidance on locating missing participants in a terminated defined contribution plan. The guidance reflects the discontinuance of the IRS and SSA letter forwarding...more

Wage & Hour Claims: A Look Back on The First Half of 2014

As the mid-point of 2014 fades into the rearview mirror, it is clear that wage and hour claims continue to be a hotbed of litigation impacting large and small companies across industries. In turn the protection those...more

D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals Agrees to Hear Halbig ACA Case Before Full Court

Following up on our Week 22 ACA Countdown to Compliance post, the D.C. Court of Appeals granted the government’s petition for en banc review in Halbig v. Burwell, which held low income subsidies to purchase coverage through...more

Full D.C. Circuit to Rehear ACA Premium Tax Credit Case

The full U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit has vacated the 2-1 panel decision issued July 22, 2014, in Halbig v. Burwell, which struck down the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Rule providing for Affordable Care Act...more

Federal Appeals Courts Issue Contradictory Rulings on Federal Marketplace Subsidies under Affordable Care Act

Two federal appeals courts issued contradictory rulings on the validity of subsidies for the purchase of health insurance under the federal marketplace established pursuant to the Affordable Care Act (ACA). On July 22, a...more

Illinois Supreme Court Rules that Public Sector Retiree Health Subsidies are Constitutionally Protected Benefits

As covered in more detail in a separate alert, the Illinois Supreme Court ruled in Kanerva v. Weems by a 6-1 margin that state-subsidized retiree health coverage premiums are subject to the pension protection clause of the...more

#Insurance Coverage for Emerging Social Media Risks

There are 1.3 billion people on Facebook, half a billion “tweets” every day, and countless other ways to communicate that did not even exist five years ago. In response to this social media revolution, smart companies are...more

Insurance Industry Sweeps Retained Asset Account Doubleheader

On August 26, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit held in Vander Luitgaren v. Sun Life Ass. Co. of Canada, No. 13–2090, 2014 WL 4197947 (1st Cir. Aug. 26, 2014), that an insurer, acting as a claims administrator,...more

ERISA: Plaintiff’s Attorney Fees Denied — Filing Of Lawsuit Was Not Reason Why Benefits Were Granted

You already know that in ERISA cases a court may, in its discretion, award attorney fees if a party achieved “some degree of success on the merits.”...more

District Courts Reviewing ERISA Cases Under the Arbitrary and Capricious Review Standard Serve Only in an Appellate Role

In McCorkle v. Metro. Life Ins. Co., 13-30745, 2014 WL 2983360 (5th Cir. 2014), the Fifth Circuit reversed the district court’s holding that MetLife’s adverse determination regarding the plaintiff’s claim for benefits due to...more

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