Lane Powell PC - ERISA Law Blog

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
Other U.S. Locations
  • Alaska
  • Oregon
  • Washington
Other Countries
  • United Kingdom
Number of Attorneys
100+ Attorneys

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
 /  Civil Procedure, Labor & Employment Law

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 the…more
 /  Labor & Employment Law

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
 /  Insurance, Labor & Employment Law

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 “may…more
 /  Civil Procedure, Civil Remedies, Labor & Employment Law

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 apply…more
 /  Labor & Employment Law

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

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
 /  Administrative Law, Civil Procedure, Labor & Employment Law

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
 /  Labor & Employment Law

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
 /  Civil Procedure, Insurance, Labor & Employment Law

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” and…more
 /  Insurance, Labor & Employment Law

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
 /  Civil Procedure, Labor & Employment Law

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
 /  Health, Personal Injury

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
 /  Commercial Law & Contracts, Labor & Employment Law

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 the…more
 /  Labor & Employment Law

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
 /  Labor & Employment Law

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
 /  Civil Procedure, Labor & Employment Law
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