Lane Powell PC - ERISA Law Blog

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Firm Profile: Lane Powell PC
1420 Fifth Avenue, Ste. 4200
P.O. Box 91302
Seattle, WA 98111-1302, United States
Phone: (206) 223-7000
Fax: (206) 223-7107
Areas of Practice
  • Administrative Law
  • Commercial Law & Contracts
  • Health
  • Insurance
  • Labor & Employment Law
  • Litigation
  • Taxation
Locations
Other U.S. Locations
  • Alaska
  • Oregon
  • Washington
Other Countries
  • United Kingdom
Number of Attorneys
100+ Attorneys

ERISA Plan Choice-of-Law Provisions: Dog Whisperer’s Disability Claim Reviewed Under Abuse of Discretion Standard of Review

An issue dogging claims administrators is: What effect do choice-of-law provisions have on the standard of review of ERISA benefit decisions?…more
 /  Civil Procedure, Labor & Employment Law

ERISA: New Questions for Church-Affiliated Organizations After The Supreme Court Expands ERISA Church-Plan Exemption

On June 5, 2017, the U.S. Supreme Court expanded the scope of ERISA’s church-plan exemption in the case of Advocate Health Care Network v. Stapleton, — S. Ct. –, 2017 WL 2407476 (2017). The unanimous decision adopted a broad…more
 /  Civil Procedure, Health, Labor & Employment Law

ERISA — Prayers Answered: Supreme Court Establishes Broader Application of Religious Exemption

This just in... On June 5, 2017, the U.S. Supreme Court broadened the application of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act’s religious exemption provision…more
 /  Health, Labor & Employment Law

ERISA: 4 Quick Responses to Claimant’s Typical Challenges to Disability Benefit Denials

How do you respond to typical arguments by those seeking ERISA-governed disability benefits that the claim administrator: -“cherry-picked the record”; -ignored the social security disability determination; -improperly…more
 /  Health, Insurance, Labor & Employment Law

ERISA Benefits and a Claimant’s Bankruptcy: When Judicial Estoppel Requires Dismissal of Lawsuits Seeking Long Term Disability Benefits

Don’t forget that... judicial estoppel can require dismissal of a claimant’s suit for ERISA-governed long term disability (LTD) benefits if the claimant failed to list the “potential cause of action” in bankruptcy filings…more
 /  Bankruptcy, Labor & Employment Law

ERISA: US Supreme Court Grapples with the Church Plan Exemption — Early Analysis

When does the “church plan exemption” apply? You already know that under the “church plan” exemption, Church plans do not have to comply with ERISA, including the requirements to fund a plan and pay Pension Benefit Guaranty…more
 /  Finance & Banking, Health, Labor & Employment Law

ERISA Attorney Fee Awards: What Are “Reasonable Hours” for a Plaintiff’s Attorney to Spend on a Summary Judgment Motion?

You already know that courts typically award attorney fees in ERISA cases when the Plaintiff/claimant achieves “some success on the merits.” But does a mere remand constitute “some success on the merits”? Probably yes…more
 /  Civil Procedure, Civil Remedies, Labor & Employment Law

ERISA (10th Circuit): Does the ERISA Plan Breach Fiduciary Duties by Informing the Employer of an Employee/Disability Claimant’s Substance Abuse Problem?

Can an ERISA plan administrator tell an employer about an employee’s substance abuse? Doesn’t that breach fiduciary duties to the employee/claimant? Probably not. Check the employer’s employment policies because an…more
 /  Civil Procedure, Labor & Employment Law

ERISA: Winning Tactic on Summary Judgment to Prove Claimant Received the Policy: Get Key Evidence into the Administrative Record

You know that to apply an exclusion in a policy, the claims administrator must show that the claimant received the policy. But what happens when the claimant submits a declaration disputing your proof that she received the…more
 /  Administrative Law, Civil Procedure, Health, Insurance

ERISA: 7 Things to Know About Limited Discovery in ERISA Long Term Disability Cases

You already know that discovery in ERISA cases is generally limited because of the “significant ERISA policy interests of minimizing costs of claim disputes and ensuring prompt claims-resolution procedures.”…more
 /  Civil Procedure, Insurance, Labor & Employment Law

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
 /  Civil Procedure, Health, Labor & Employment Law

Washington Supreme Court Restricts Claims Under the Insurance Fair Conduct Act

In a significant victory for insurers, the Washington Supreme Court interpreted the Insurance Fair Conduct Act (IFCA), RCW 48.30.015, for the first time and held that IFCA does not authorize an independent cause of action for…more
 /  Civil Procedure, Insurance

ERISA (7th Circuit): Four Ways To Inoculate Claims Denials From Allegations That a ‘Conflict of Interest’ Affected Your Decision

In the back and forth of the disability claims process, decisions on whether someone is disabled can change. Claims administrators are “entitled to seek and consider new information and, in appropriate cases, to change its…more
 /  Civil Procedure, Labor & Employment Law

ERISA: Happy New Year? 10 Things You Need to Know About the Newly Published Regulations Affecting Future ERISA Claims/Appeals

The Department of Labor’s Employee Benefits Security Administration just published final regulations that change the ERISA disability claims and appeals process. Here are 10 things you should know about these new…more
 /  Labor & Employment Law

ERISA (D.C. Cir.): Do You Know the Difference Between a “Payroll Practice,” and Short Term Disability Benefits Governed by ERISA?

What happens when an employer provides a disabled employee continued regular wages, paid out of general employer assets? This is known as a “payroll practice”… and ERISA may not apply. A new case that highlights the point…more
 /  Labor & Employment Law
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