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Healthcare Litigation - February 2017

HCQIA Preemption of State Physician Whistleblower Statutes - Medical professionals who are subject to adverse actions following peer review often seek to sue the peer review participants (including the individual...more

CBAs Must Specifically State Intent to Arbitrate Statutory Rights

Seyfarth Synopsis: The Court of Appeal has held that unless a collective bargaining agreement includes an explicitly stated, clear and unmistakable, intent to waive the right to a judicial forum for statutory causes of...more

U.S. Supreme Court to Weigh in on Religious Exemptions from ERISA

The United States Supreme Court recently agreed to hear appeals from hospitals with Christian affiliations regarding the Employee Retirement Income Security Act’s (“ERISA”) exemption for church retirement plans. ...more

2016 Round-Up: Key Decisions Affecting Connecticut Health Care Providers

Connecticut state and federal courts faced a number of significant health care issues last year. We have summarized those cases that we think are particularly relevant to Connecticut hospitals, group practices and individual...more

ERISA: Fibromyalgia – “[D]iagnosis is not the automatic equivalent to a finding of disability.”

Fibromyalgia cases often are difficult to assess in determining eligibility for benefits. But the mere diagnosis of a condition (like fibromyalgia) is not enough to qualify for disability benefits under most policy...more

First Circuit Affirms Summary Judgment for Defendant, Rejecting the Use of Aggregate Data to Prove False Claims and Clarifying the...

The First Circuit has issued an opinion affirming a complete grant of summary judgment for Pfizer, Inc. in United States ex rel. Booker v. Pfizer Inc., No. 16-1805 (1st Cir. Jan. 30, 2017), a False Claims Act (“FCA”) lawsuit...more

Alleging Improper Use of Funds Legitimately Obtained from the Government Insufficient to State FCA Retaliation Claim

The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas has dismissed an FCA retaliation claim brought by a nurse who claimed to have blown the whistle on misuse of funds at a hospital that received significant federal...more

Class Certified in Claims for Autism Treatment Coverage

A federal district court in the Western District of Kentucky certified a class of participants and beneficiaries in plans sponsored by Anthem Health Plans of Kentucky, Inc. who had been denied coverage or reimbursement for...more

Church Plan Cases: Federal Agencies Finally Speak

As many of you know, currently pending before the Supreme Court are consolidated cases from the Third, Seventh, and Ninth Circuits holding that, for religiously affiliated employers, employee benefits plans must initially be...more

The ERISA Litigation Newsletter - January 2017

Editor’s Overview - In 2016, we saw a considerable uptick in the number and variety of excessive fee lawsuits commenced against plan fiduciaries of defined contribution plans. We begin the year by taking a look at these...more

Is EEOC Regulation of Wellness Plans Legal? — Seventh Circuit Declines to Say Yes

The Seventh Circuit has stymied an EEOC attempt to declare that employer wellness plans violate the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”). The court decided that the issues raised by the suit are moot, and deferred to...more

EEOC v. Flambeau, Judicial Restraint, and the (Uncertain) Future of Employer-Sponsored Wellness Programs

On January 25, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals issued it much-anticipated decision in EEOC v. Flambeau, Inc. This case involved the regulation of employer-sponsored wellness plans and programs. Since 2006, the rules...more

Seventh Circuit Declines To Address The EEOC’s Challenge To The Legality Of Employer’s Wellness Plan

Seyfarth Synopsis: After an employee lost his employer-funded health insurance because he failed to complete a medical examination required by his employer, the EEOC sued the employer under the ADA’s ban on involuntary...more

Employment Law - January 2017

California: On-Duty, On-Call Rest Periods Violate State Law - Why it matters - Ruling in a closely watched case, the California Supreme Court declared that on-duty and on-call rest periods violate state law....more

Avoiding COBRA’s Bite: Measures to Counter COBRA Class Actions

With the filing of a class action complaint in late 2016 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. became the latest large company accused of failing to provide adequate notices as...more

Medical Group Practice Can Once Again Employ PTs and PTAs

In December 2016, the South Carolina Supreme Court denied a petition for re-hearing, resolving a long standing dispute and allowing medical practices to employ directly physical therapists (“PTs”) and physical therapist...more

2016 in Arbitration Law: Fleeting Victories for Consumer Advocates?

If I had drafted this annual summary post on November 7, 2016, it would have looked different. At that point, the year had produced numerous (final or proposed) federal regulations that significantly restricted the use of...more

Honeywell Defeats Retirees’ Class Action Suit for Lifetime Health Benefits

A federal district court in Ohio dismissed retirees’ claims for lifetime healthcare benefits from Honeywell.  Honeywell provided healthcare benefits to plaintiffs through a series of collective bargaining agreements and,...more

UPDATE: District Court Denies Preliminary Injunction in AARP Suit to Block Final Rules on Employee Wellness Programs

The U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia (Judge Bates) has denied AARP’s request to block the implementation of the EEOC’s final wellness regulations pending a decision on the merits. As we have discussed...more

District Court Rejects Retirees’ Claim for Lifetime Healthcare Benefits

A federal district court in Michigan dismissed retirees’ claims for lifetime, unalterable healthcare benefits from BorgWarner. BorgWarner provided healthcare benefits to Plaintiffs through a series of collective bargaining...more

A New Wave Of Class Action Lawsuits Targets Employers That Provide Deficient COBRA Notices

In a series of recent class action lawsuits involving Wal-Mart Stores Inc., BB&T Co., Shipcom Wireless Inc., and other employers, current and former employees who were eligible for COBRA continuation health coverage have...more

Cost-Sharing Subsidies Ruling Adds More Uncertainty to Affordable Care Act

Holland & Knight issued an alert in May 2016 regarding litigation by the U.S. House of Representatives against the Obama Administration and the decision of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia enjoining any...more

Opt Ins are Out (of Luck) Appealing Decertification

With all the drama of a get-away chase, the Third Circuit recently brought to a screeching halt plaintiffs’ counsel’s elaborate maneuvers to end run repeated decertification of their FLSA actions, and held as a matter of...more

Micro-Units under the Microscope: The Second and Fifth Circuit Courts Consider Specialty Healthcare and Its Misapplication

Last week, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit joined the Third, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Seventh, and Eighth Circuits in upholding the Board’s Specialty Healthcare standard for determining appropriate bargaining...more

The ERISA Litigation Newsletter - November 2016

This month we review a recent Second Circuit decision addressing ERISA plan status as a class member in a securities shareholder class action. As discussed in the article, the decision exposes a potential conflict among the...more

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