Employee Retirement Income Security Act Supreme Court of the United States

Employee Retirement Income Security Act is a United States federal law enacted in 1974 to set minimum standards for pension and health plans in the private sector and to protect participants in those plans.... more +
Employee Retirement Income Security Act is a United States federal law enacted in 1974 to set minimum standards for pension and health plans in the private sector and to protect participants in those plans.  ERISA requires plans to provide information to participants, establishes a grievance process,  and allows participants to sue for benefits or breach of fiduciary duties.  less -
News & Analysis as of

Second Circuit: Five Factors Still Relevant to ERISA Attorney Fee Awards

The Second Circuit recently had occasion to provide guidance to the lower courts on the standard for evaluating an ERISA attorneys’ fee application following the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Hardt v. Reliance Standard Life...more

Defendants See Success With Limitations Defenses Post Heimeshoff

Defendants have recently received three favorable decisions involving contractual and statutory limitations defenses. In each case, a federal court held that claims for benefits under ERISA plans were time-barred. Costa v....more

U.S. Supreme Court Round-Up: Sun Capital Cert Denied, Omnicare Cert Granted and Whistle-Blower Protection Extended

As first discussed in July 2013 the First Circuit Court of Appeals held in Sun Capital Partners III, LP, et al. v. New England Teamsters & Trucking Industry Pension Fund that a Sun Capital Partners private equity fund (Sun...more

Do Your Plans Include a Time Limit on a Participant’s Right to Sue?

Some, but far from all, employee benefit plans set a limit on the amount of time a participant has to file a lawsuit claiming benefits under the plan. Until recently, however, not all courts would recognize these plan...more

U.S. Supreme Court to Review “Presumption of Prudence” that Favors Fiduciaries of ERISA Plans that Hold Employer Stock

The Supreme Court has agreed to hear the case of Fifth Third Bancorp v. Dudenhoeffer, in which the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, in response to a motion to dismiss, declined to adopt a presumption of prudence in favor of a...more

The ERISA Litigation Newsletter - February 2014

The employee benefits issues to be considered by the U.S. Supreme Court continue to be of great significance to plan sponsors and fiduciaries. This month we review the Court's employee benefit decisions from 2013 and also...more

Court Holds That ERISA Plaintiff Cannot Claim Equitable Remedies When the Plaintiff Has Adequate Remedies to Recover Plan...

A federal court has ruled that, although a recent U. S. Supreme Court decision expanded the kinds of equitable remedies available to a plaintiff under ERISA § 502(a)(3), those remedies are still unavailable when the ERISA...more

The Devil Is In Those Details: Supreme Court Holds That the Clock for the Appeal of an ERISA Decision Began Running Sooner Than...

The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that the plaintiffs, a group of union-affiliated employee benefit funds (the Funds), waited too late to give notice of their appeal from the trial court’s judgment on the merits of their case...more

U.S. Supreme Court: A Decision on the Merits Triggers the Time to Appeal Irrespective of a Pending Contractual or Statutory...

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in a unanimous opinion that an unresolved claim for attorney’s fees does not prevent a decision on the merits of an ERISA suit from becoming final for purposes of the deadline to file a notice of...more

The ERISA Litigation Newsletter - January 2014

This month we look at part three of our three part series on Class Actions. In part three, Robert Rachal and M. Todd Mobley address the role of experts in class certification post Wal-Mart and Comcast and how to use and...more

District Court Relies on Recent Supreme Court Decision to Uphold Plan Limitations Provision

A federal district court in New Jersey granted summary judgment in favor of New Jersey Bac Health Fund, finding the limitations provision set forth in the Fund’s SPD to be reasonable. Barriero v. NJ Bac Health Fund, 2013 U.S....more

Supreme Court Allows Employers to Limit Time Periods for Bringing Employee Benefit Plan Suits

In a recently-issued decision, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously held that employee benefit plans may include a contractual limitations period for filing suit under ERISA §502(a)(1)(B) so long as that period is not...more

Take It to the Limit – The High Court Reviews When ERISA Plan Limitation of Actions Period Begins

It is well-settled that parties can contract for the length of a limitation of actions period. It also is well-settled that parties may contract for a limitation of actions period to start before the time to commence an...more

Supreme Court to Review Sixth Circuit’s Reinstatement of ERISA “Stock-Drop” Class Action

The Supreme Court recently agreed to resolve a circuit split on the pleading requirements for claims that ERISA fiduciaries imprudently invested employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) assets in the stock of the...more

Time’s Up: Supreme Court Upholds Enforcement of Claim Limitations in ERISA Plan Language

Christmas may have come a little early for plan administrators and companies looking for clarity in ERISA litigation. Last Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 9-0 in Heimeshoff v. Hartford Life & Accident Insurance Co. that...more

Supreme Court to Decide Applicability of the “Prudence Presumption” in ERISA Stock Cases: ESOP and 401(k) Plan Sponsors and...

Introduction - In Fifth Third Bancorp v. Dudenhoeffer, the U.S. Supreme Court will decide whether investments in employer stock are entitled to a “prudence presumption” under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act...more

Supreme Court Unanimously Upholds ERISA Plan Limitation Periods

On December 16, 2013, the Supreme Court ruled in Heimeshoff v. Hartford Life Insurance (U.S., No. 12-729, 12/16/13), that a contractual limitation period for challenging a denial of benefits under an ERISA-governed plan may...more

Supreme Court to Address Presumption of Prudence for ERISA “Stock Drop” Cases

The Supreme Court agreed on December 13, 2013 to review an issue critical to ERISA “stock drop” cases and important more generally for ERISA individual-account plans that invest in employer stock....more

Supreme Court Upholds Reasonable Contractual Limitations Period in ERISA Plan

The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled unanimously that certain statute of limitations provisions in employer-sponsored benefit plans are enforceable, even when they begin to run before the plan's administrative process has been...more

You Can Plan On The Plan: United States Supreme Court Rejects Invitation To Rewrite Plan Terms In Heimeshoff v. Hartford Life &...

On December 16, the United States Supreme Court issued its opinion in Heimeshoff v. Hartford Life & Accident Insurance Company. The unanimous decision, which was written by Justice Clarence Thomas, affirmed the Second...more

SCOTUS DECIDES: Three-Year Contractual Limitations Period Enforceable in ERISA LTD Plan

In Heimeshoff v. Hartford Life & Acc. Ins. Co. the United States Supreme Court held that a contractual limitations period in an ERISA long-term disability plan was enforceable and began to accrue before the administrator had...more

U.S. Supreme Court Upholds ERISA Plans' Modified Statute Of Limitations

The U.S. Supreme Court issued a rare unanimous decision earlier this week finding that employee benefit plans can set reasonable time limitations on when a plan participant may bring a lawsuit seeking plan benefits – even...more

Supreme Court Upholds Enforcement of Plan Document Limitations Period for Benefit Claims

In a decision handed down yesterday, Heimeshoff v. Hartford Life & Accident Insurance Co., the Supreme Court confirmed that ERISA plan documents may prescribe an enforceable limitations period for the assertion of benefits...more

Supreme Court Upholds ERISA Plan’s Statute of Limitations

Yesterday, in Heimeshoff v. Hartford Life & Accident Insurance Co. the United States Supreme Court upheld the enforceability of an ERISA-plan provision providing: Legal action cannot be taken against The Hartford . ....more

ERISA: Good News — Supreme Court Enforces Suit Limitations Provision

Are those three year suit limitations provisions in ERISA-governed long term disability plans enforceable? YES! Here’s today’s case, Heimeshoff v Hartford Life & Accident Insurance Co., __ U.S. __ (December 16, 2013)...more

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