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

Supreme Court Interprets ERISA to Limit Remedies Available to Plans to Subrogate and Recover Overpayments

Montanile v. Board of Trustees of the National Elevator Industry Health Benefit Plan is the fourth decision by the U.S. Supreme Court addressing the subrogation rights of self-insured ERISA-covered health plans. Three...more

ERISA Plans Should Act To Reinforce Reimbursement Rights In Light Of Recent SCOTUS Decision

Group health plan administrators should take actions to address the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision holding that an ERISA plan cannot enforce its equitable lien, which had been established through the plan’s reimbursement...more

U.S. Supreme Court Clarifies the Scope of ERISA Fiduciary Obligations in Recent Stock Drop Decision

In recent years, plaintiffs’ lawyers have brought numerous ERISA breach of fiduciary duty lawsuits against employers that offer employer stock funds in their 401(k) plans. These lawsuits are typically brought on behalf of...more

Supreme Court: For ERISA Plans, Time May Be Money

A new U.S. Supreme Court decision is a reminder that Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) plans must act promptly if they want to assert a lien to secure a participant’s obligation to reimburse medical expenses or...more

Supreme Court Revisits Stock Drop Fiduciary Standards

In Amgen v. Harris, the Supreme Court for the second time considered whether the plan participants sufficiently stated a claim against the plan fiduciaries for breach of fiduciary duty under ERISA by continuing to provide...more

The Supreme Court Meant What It Said On Employer Stock Funds

On January 25, 2016, in Amgen, Inc. v. Harris, 2016 WL 280886, the Supreme Court sent a strong message to the lower courts, plaintiffs and ERISA fiduciaries that pleading standards for breach of fiduciary duty prudence claims...more

What Amgen and Tackett Tell Us About ERISA Litigation Trend Lines

Two recent Supreme Court decisions, and a recent Sixth Circuit analysis on remand from the Supreme Court, offer a roadmap of sorts on ERISA litigation. In both decisions, the Supreme Court did away with presumptions, and at...more

Employee Benefits Developments - January 2016

IRS Guidance Addresses Numerous ACA Issues Related to HRAs. Just before the New Year, the IRS issued Notice 2015-87 (Notice), addressing the application of Affordable Care Act (ACA) market reform rules to different...more

Be Careful What You Wish For – Dudenhoeffer May Do “More Harm Than Good” For ERISA “Stock Drop” Plaintiffs

In its June 2014 decision in Dudenhoeffer v. Fifth Third Bank, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously declined to recognize a “presumption of prudence” that had favored retirement-plan fiduciaries faced with allegations of...more

Supreme Court Sends ERISA Plans Racing to the Courthouse for Subrogation Recoveries

The Supreme Court of the United States recently handed down a decision that opens the door for participants in ERISA-covered benefits plans to stop a lawsuit against them in its tracks by doing something that most people love...more

Supreme Court’s Amgen Order Confirms That Fifth Third Bancorp’s ERISA Stock-Drop Pleading Standard Has Teeth

In a recent per curiam order granting the plan fiduciaries’ petition for certiorari and reversing the Ninth Circuit, the United States Supreme Court made clear that it expects lower courts to faithfully apply the pleading...more

Hurry up and Spend the Money?

It’s like a simple set of facts on a law school exam with an answer that defies logic. And, yet, Supreme Court precedent has brought us to this illogical conclusion. Facts: Participant agrees to reimburse the plan money it...more

Recent Supreme Court Decision Limits ERISA Plans’ Ability to Recover Benefits Paid to Injured Employees Who Later Receive...

It’s a common scenario when dealing with a benefit plan governed by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA): an employee participating in the plan is injured by a third-party, the plan pays covered medical...more

Supreme Court Issues Further Clarification on Equitable Relief Remedies Available Under ERISA

ERISA Section 502(a)(3) empowers plan fiduciaries to file suit “to obtain … appropriate equitable relief … to enforce … the terms of the plan.” In 1993, the Supreme Court of the United States interpreted this ERISA provision...more

SCOTUS Meant What It Said & Said What It Meant: Dudenhoeffer Imposes Higher Pleading Standards

In a rebuke to the Ninth Circuit, the Supreme Court granted the Amgen defendants’ petition for certiorari, reversed the Ninth Circuit’s judgment and remanded the case for further proceedings consistent with its opinion in the...more

Supreme Court Rejects ERISA Stock-Drop Complaint for Failing Dudenhoeffer Pleading Standards

Earlier this week, the Supreme Court emphatically reversed the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in an ERISA stock-drop lawsuit. The Supreme Court concluded that the Ninth Circuit failed to properly apply the rigorous...more

Supreme Court Limits ERISA Healthcare Plan’s Reimbursement Rights: What Montanile Really Means

Last week, the United States Supreme Court held that an ERISA healthcare benefit plan with reimbursement rights can only obtain “appropriate equitable relief” when enforcing its lien against a third-party settlement, thus...more

Supreme Court: Health Plan Recovery Of Expenses Can Be Thwarted By Spendthrift Participant

In an 8-1 decision issued yesterday, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that a health plan’s right of recovery against a plan participant who obtains an award from a third party found responsible for the participant’s injuries can...more

Harris v. Amgen

On January 25, 2016, the United States Supreme Court issued an opinion in Harris v. Amgen that will impact the pleading standard for stock drop litigation. The plaintiffs in Harris are former employees of Amgen Inc. who...more

U.S. Supreme Court Limits ERISA Plan’s Subrogation Rights Where Participants Have Dissipated Funds Recovered from Third Parties –...

Over the years, the U.S. Supreme Court from time to time has explored the scope of equitable relief available under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (“ERISA”) in circumstances where an employee benefit plan...more

SCOTUS Rejects Plan’s Right to Dissipated Assets

The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that an ERISA plan has no right to recover benefits paid on behalf of a participant where the participant has already dissipated settlement funds received from a third party. In...more

U.S. Supreme Court Decision in Montanile Applies Principles of Equity to Reach an Absurdly Inequitable Result Regarding ERISA Plan...

“A” gets hit by a drunk driver and incurs $121,044 in medical expenses. The ERISA Plan agrees to pay the expenses if “A” contractually agrees to reimburse the Plan for any recovery obtained as the result of any legal action...more

Supreme Court Provides More Guidance Regarding Health Plan Subrogation Claims

On January 20, 2016, the Supreme Court handed down yet another case addressing health plan subrogation. From the Supreme Court’s earlier decision in Sereboff v. Mid Atlantic Medical Services, Inc. (547 U.S. 356) (2006),...more

Supreme Court Rules No ERISA Plan Recovery of Nontraceable Settlement Funds

In Montanile v. Bd. of Trs. of the Nat'l Elevator Indus. Health Benefit Plan, the U.S. Supreme Court on January 19 held that when an ERISA plan participant wholly dissipates a third-party settlement on nontraceable items, a...more

Supreme Court Limits ERISA Plan Reimbursement Rights: ERISA Fiduciaries Need to be Diligent

On January 20, 2016, the United States Supreme Court held that an ERISA plan could not satisfy its reimbursement rights from a participant’s general assets. ERISA plans’ reimbursement rights are now so limited that...more

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