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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

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 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

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

Punitive Damages Exception Recognized to General Rule Precluding Direct Liability Against Employers who Admit Vicarious Liability...

The Court of Appeals for the Western District of Missouri has answered in the affirmative a question left open by the Missouri Supreme Court almost two decades ago: whether a claim for punitive damages can in fact serve as an...more

Court holds that federal standards of care pre-empt state law standards

Originally published in International Law Office on November 27 2012. A New York state trial court recently added another voice to the chorus of cases finding that federal law pre-empts state law standards of care in the...more

When You're Hit By an Ambulance: Illinois Supreme Court Takes Bookend to Harris

During its May term, the Illinois Supreme Court decided Harris v. Thompson, which posed the question of whether a public entity or employee could be held liable for negligent operation of an ambulance. At the close of its...more

Indiana Joins the Emerging Majority Position on Uniform Trade Secrets Act Preemption of State-Law Tort Claims

Last month, an Indiana appellate court became the latest court to adopt the majority position on the question of whether the Uniform Trade Secrets Act (UTSA) displaces state-law tort claims said to protect information that is...more

Options for Suing the Federal Government Under Bivens Unlikely to Expand

In 2001, federal inmate Richard Lee Pollard sustained two broken elbows after tripping over a cart in a privately operated prison housing federal inmates. He sued five prison employees for their actions after his injuries. On...more

U.S. Supreme Court to Consider Federal Preemption in Asbestos Suit

On June 6, the U.S. Supreme Court granted certiorari in Kurns et al. v. Railroad Friction Products Corp., et al., No. 10-879, to consider whether the Locomotive Inspection Act (LIA) (formerly the Boiler Inspection Act)...more

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