Insurers May Be Sued Directly Under ERISA


On June 22, 2011, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals issued its long awaited en banc decision in Cyr v. Reliance Standard Life Insurance Company with the expected result: a claimant may sue an insurer directly under ERISA section 1132(a)(1)(B) for unpaid benefits.

Laura Cyr received long term disability benefits under an ERISA plan from Reliance due to a back condition that allegedly prevented her from working. While on disability she sued her employer and ultimately entered into a settlement in which her salary was retroactively adjusted upwards. When the insurer did not increase her monthly LTD benefit (which was based upon a percentage of her pre-disability income), Cyr filed suit against the insurer, the Plan, and the employer as plan administrator for benefits under 28 U.S.C. Section 1132(a)(1)(B), as well as equitable estoppel and breach of fiduciary duty under Section 1132(a)(3). The district court ruled for Cyr on the benefit claim, and Reliance appealed on a number of grounds.

Please see full article below for more information.

LOADING PDF: If there are any problems, click here to download the file.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© Sedgwick LLP | Attorney Advertising

Written by:


Sedgwick LLP on:

Popular Topics
Reporters on Deadline

"My best business intelligence, in one easy email…"

Your first step to building a free, personalized, morning email brief covering pertinent authors and topics on JD Supra:

Sign up to create your digest using LinkedIn*

*By using the service, you signify your acceptance of JD Supra's Privacy Policy.

Already signed up? Log in here

*With LinkedIn, you don't need to create a separate login to manage your free JD Supra account, and we can make suggestions based on your needs and interests. We will not post anything on LinkedIn in your name. Or, sign up using your email address.