Latest Publications

Share:

ERISA: Two Ways the New DOL Regulations Will Change Litigation

As you know, on April 1, 2018 new regulations from the U.S. Department of Labor’s governing Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) disability benefit claims became effective....more

4/10/2018  /  DOL , ERISA , Retirement Plan

ERISA: What Must be in a Summary Plan Description for the “Average Plan Participant”?

You know that ERISA requires the Summary Plan Description to explain eligibility clearly enough so that an “average plan participant” can understand it. ...more

ERISA: The Denial Letter is Only as Good as the Analysis Contained in the IME Report

You already know that opinions by independent medical reviewers play a big role in the decision to grant or deny benefits. The reasons why the independent medical reviewer came to the conclusions made are as important as...more

ERISA: Using the 24 Month Mental/Nervous Limitation to Win Claims Alleging Physical Disability

What happens when a claimant asserts totally disability… caused by subjective physical pain and mental illness? For example, sometimes claimants allege total disability from the combined conditions of subjective pain...more

3/5/2018  /  Disability , ERISA , Mental Health

Are Forum Selection Clauses in ERISA Plan Documents Enforceable?

On January 17, 2018, the United States Supreme Court allowed a Seventh Circuit decision to remain in effect that determined that a forum choice provision in an ERISA plan is enforceable, despite ERISA’s statement that suits...more

ERISA: How Missing an Appeal Decision Deadline Can Change Policy Terms

It’s that time of year again… when you may see ERISA plans amending policies or plans— during the time employees are receiving benefits. Employers have the right to amend long term disability plans at any time, and to...more

ERISA: Successfully Opposing Motions to Supplement the Record with Social Security Disability Determinations– the Advantage to De...

You already know that in ERISA life, health and disability claim determinations, “‘[i]n most cases…the district court should only look at the evidence that was before the plan administrator at the time of the determination.’”...more

BREAKING NEWS — ERISA: DOL Publishes TODAY Proposed Rule to Delay Implementation of New ERISA Claims Regulations?

You already know that since December 2016 the United States Department of Labor (DOL) has been reworking regulations governing disability plan administration. ...more

ERISA: Can a Court Invalidate the Social Security Offset Provision Because Benefits Were “Wrongfully Denied”?

You know that most ERISA plans, and most supporting insurance policies, have provisions that allow for an offset of Social Security disability benefits. Can the court invalidate these offset provisions because of...more

ERISA: New Expectations for Vocational Assessments of “Any Occupation”

You already know that most ERISA plans require an assessment, say after 24 months, whether the claimant can perform “any occupation.” This review usually involves a Vocational Assessment examining what “other occupations”...more

ERISA: Discovery of Claims Procedures to Assess Compliance with DOL Regulations? Not So Fast.

You know that failing to follow Department of Labor (DOL) claims regulations can result in the court using the de novo review standard, rather than the abuse of discretion standard in reviewing claim decisions....more

ERISA: When Bad Surgery Results Create New Disabiling Conditions: Still Excluded by the Pre-Existing Condition Exclusion?

Pre-existing condition exclusions can be difficult to apply, especially when addressing whether a new disabling condition relates back to a pre-existing condition....more

9th Circuit — ERISA: How “Wrap Documents” Can Satisfy ERISA Plan Requirements?

You already know that ERISA imposes on employers the duty to provide a written plan document, and a Summary Plan Description (SPD) which states key plan terms....more

ERISA (7th Circuit): Are ERISA Plan Forum Selection Clauses Enforceable?

You already know that ERISA gives plan beneficiaries a choice on where to bring suit seeking ERISA benefits. Section 1132(e)(2) allows plan beneficiaries to bring suit “in the district where the plan is administered, where...more

8/15/2017  /  Beneficiaries , ERISA , Forum Selection

Wage/Hour — Washington Supreme Court — Two Recent Tips Regarding Meal Break Liability

What happens in Washington when your employee fails to take a meal break? Is the employer “strictly liable” for a statutory wage/hour violation? NO....more

ERISA: Winning Early Motions to Dismiss Breach of Fiduciary Claims — the Ministerial Defense

Plaintiffs in ERISA employee benefit cases are frequently asserting breach of fiduciary duty claims, and then seeking broader discovery. So, consider early motions to dismiss the breach of fiduciary duty claims....more

ERISA: Whether the Ability to Work Only Part-Time Disqualifies Claimant from “Any Occupation” Benefits?

You know that in typical ERISA disability benefit claims, the claim administrator first determines whether claimant’s disability prevents the claimant from performing claimant’s current, “own occupation.”...more

ERISA 2nd Cir.: Four Things to Know When Trying to Offset Personal Injury Lump Sum Settlements — It Can Be Off-Putting and Tricky

You already know that most ERISA plans allow the Plan to reduce or offset long term disability payments by amounts the disabled worker receives from workers compensation or Social Security....more

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

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

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

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

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

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...more

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

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

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

134 Results
/
View per page
Page: of 6

"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 using*

Already signed up? Log in here

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