Mealey's ERISA

  • May 08, 2024

    Spinal Conditions Continued To Render Claimant Disabled, Calif. Federal Judge Says

    LOS ANGELES — Following remand from the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, a California federal judge found that additional long-term disability (LTD) benefits are owed to a disability claimant because the medical evidence shows that the claimant’s degenerative spinal conditions continued to render him disabled following the claimant’s recovery from a cardiac procedure.

  • May 07, 2024

    Disability Claimant Failed To Show Longer Shift Was Essential Duty Of Occupation

    CHICAGO — The Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on May 6 affirmed a district court’s ruling that a disability claimant failed to show that the denial of a long-term disability (LTD) benefits claim was arbitrary and capricious because the claimant failed to show that working a longer shift was an essential duty of his occupation with his current employer.

  • May 07, 2024

    Claimant Files Complaint, Says LTD Benefits Owed For Long COVID Diagnosis

    PHOENIX — A denial of long-term disability (LTD) benefits was arbitrary and capricious and an abuse of discretion because the disability insurer failed to properly consider the restrictions and limitations set by the claimant’s treating physicians as a result of the claimant’s diagnosis with long COVID, the claimant contends in a complaint filed in Arizona federal court.

  • May 07, 2024

    Parties In ERISA Imprudence Case Over Funds Report Unspecified Global Deal

    SAN FRANCISCO — With a bench trial imminent, parties in an Employee Retirement Income Security Act class action over the allegedly imprudent retention of certain funds told a California federal court on May 6 that they reached an unspecified agreement “in principle to a global resolution” of the class action and a recently filed related case.

  • May 07, 2024

    Federal Judge Rules For Class On 2 Issues In ERISA Residual Annuities Case

    NEW YORK — After “resolving the two disputed issues” in favor of the class after a Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruling that drew an unsuccessful certiorari petition, a New York federal judge has entered a revised final judgment in an Employee Retirement Income Security Act class action over residual annuities.

  • May 06, 2024

    Retiree Seeks U.S. High Court Review Of ERISA Ruling In Life Insurance Row

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — A retiree has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to review a 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruling he says held that “[e]mployees and retirees have no rights under [the Employee Retirement Income Security Act] to know why their group life insurance rates have been raised.”

  • May 06, 2024

    Under ERISA, Dermatologist Loses Yet Another 11th Circuit Appeal Over Assignments

    ATLANTA — In the latest of many similar Employee Retirement Income Security Act rulings concerning patients’ purported assignment of benefits, an 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel said in an unpublished per curiam opinion that a pro se dermatologist lacks statutory standing to bring a claim for purported failure to provide insurance documents.

  • May 06, 2024

    ‘Waste Of Time’ Summary Judgment Ruling Trims ERISA Class Case Over Fees, Funds

    BOSTON — Saying “this entire summary judgment exercise has been a monumental waste of time,” a Massachusetts federal judge partly granted the defendants’ motion in the Employee Retirement Income Security Act class action challenging management of retirement plans but denied summary judgment as to imprudence allegations regarding record-keeping fees and retention of challenged funds.

  • May 03, 2024

    Trade Organization And Others Sue DOL Over New ERISA Fiduciary Definition

    TYLER, Texas — Seeking vacatur of a new rule that redefines and broadens who is an investment advice fiduciary under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, parties including trade organization Federation of Americans for Consumer Choice Inc. (FACC) sued the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) and its acting secretary in Texas federal court on May 2.

  • May 03, 2024

    Amended Complaint Planned In Fiduciary Breach Case Against Health Plans’ Sponsor

    CAMDEN, N.J. — In a granted joint stipulation, parties in a high-profile putative class Employee Retirement Income Security Act fiduciary duty case over alleged “mismanagement of prescription-drug benefits” told a New Jersey federal court they agree that a pending dismissal motion will be mooted by a forthcoming amended complaint.

  • May 03, 2024

    2nd Circuit Sets Argument In ERISA Record-Keeping Fees Pleading Standard Row

    NEW YORK — Without explanation, the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals has denied a motion to reschedule May 24 oral argument in a case in which participants in a Deloitte retirement plan seek revival of an Employee Retirement Income Security Act suit over record-keeping fees.

  • May 03, 2024

    Ophthalmologist’s Disability Suit Settled; Parties File Stipulation Of Dismissal

    ROANOKE, Va. — A disability claimant and disability insurer filed a stipulation of dismissal in Virginia federal court after reaching a settlement pertaining to the claimant’s long-term disability (LTD) benefits.

  • May 03, 2024

    Disability Claimant Seeks Rehearing Of Preexisting Condition Exclusion Ruling

    PASADENA, Calif. — A disability claimant filed a petition for panel rehearing and rehearing en banc in the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, contending that rehearing is warranted because the Ninth Circuit panel’s decision that a long-term disability (LTD) policy’s preexisting condition exclusion bars coverage creates an intracircuit conflict with a prior ruling of the Ninth Circuit.

  • May 03, 2024

    Disability Insurer Files Notice Of Settlement In LTD Benefits Suit

    KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Less than a week after filing a notice of appeal to the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals of a Tennessee federal judge’s ruling entered in favor of a disability claimant, the disability insurer notified the district court that it reached a settlement with the disability claimant.

  • May 02, 2024

    Disability Claimant Failed To Show Any Error In District Court’s Benefits Ruling

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The District of Columbia Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals granted a motion for summary affirmance filed by the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. (PBGC), named as the statutory trustee for a disability benefits plan, because the disability claimant failed to demonstrate any error in a district court’s ruling in favor of the PBGC.

  • May 02, 2024

    Split 2nd Circuit Affirms Effective Vindication Ruling In ERISA Arbitration Row

    NEW YORK — In a 2-1 ruling on a high-profile Employee Retirement Income Security Act issue, a Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on May 1 upheld denial of a motion for individual arbitration over an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) deal, with the majority applying the effective vindication exception as three other circuits did “in closely analogous cases” and asserting that “this is not actually a class action.”

  • May 02, 2024

    Disability Insurer, Claimant Settle Dispute Over Policy’s Monthly Benefit Rider

    SAN FRANCISCO — The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals entered an order staying a disability claimant’s appeal and directing the parties to file a joint status report following the disability insurer’s filing of a notice of a settlement between the parties.

  • April 26, 2024

    7th Circuit Revives Some ERISA Claims In Suit Over Company’s Valuation

    CHICAGO — A Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel upheld dismissal of all federal securities and state law claims in a sprawling suit involving an employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) and alleged price inflation but reversed and remanded on some Employee Retirement Income Security Act claims against the selling company’s directors and officers and the ESOP’s independent trustees.

  • April 25, 2024

    Panel Gives Georgetown University, Plan Fiduciaries Win In ERISA Imprudence Row

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — In an unpublished per curiam judgment in an Employee Retirement Income Security Act case over alleged imprudence by Georgetown University and fiduciaries of its retirement plans, a District of Columbia Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel upheld dismissal of the complaint and denial of leave to file an amended complaint.

  • April 25, 2024

    Question Of Fact Exists About Disability Insurer’s Knowledge Of Pension Benefits

    OPELIKA, Ala. — An Alabama federal judge denied a motion for judgment on the pleadings filed by a disability claimant after determining that it is not clear whether the applicable six-year statute of limitations bars the disability insurer’s suit seeking to recover an overpayment of long-term disability (LTD) benefits because a question of fact exists regarding when the disability insurer learned that the claimant failed to disclose her receipt of pension benefits.

  • April 24, 2024

    DOL Finalizes New Rule On Who Is An Investment Advice Fiduciary Under ERISA

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) Employee Benefits Security Administration on April 23 revealed the final Retirement Security Rule updating and expanding the regulatory definition of an investment advice fiduciary under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act.

  • April 24, 2024

    Alcoa, Independent Fiduciary Are Sued Under ERISA For Pension Risk Transfers

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — In what is at least the fourth putative class case filed in the past month challenging pension risk transfers (PRTs), retirees sued Alcoa Corp., related entities and an independent fiduciary in a District of Columbia federal court over four transactions they argue improperly “offloaded over $2 billion of Alcoa’s pension obligations.”

  • April 24, 2024

    Minnesota Federal Court: ERISA Record-Keeping Claims Meet Matousek Requirement

    MINNEAPOLIS — Claims relating to a 401(k) plan’s bundled record-keeping and administrative (RKA) fees that allegedly averaged $29 survive dismissal in an Employee Retirement Income Security Act case where the plaintiffs relied on participant fee disclosures, a Minnesota federal judge ruled.

  • April 24, 2024

    Parties Outline Positions After Summary Judgment Denial In ERISA Funds Row

    SAN FRANCISCO — After a California federal judge denied the defendants’ motions for summary judgment and to exclude expert testimony, the parties filed a corrected joint pretrial statement outlining their positions in an Employee Retirement Income Security Act class action over the allegedly imprudent retention of certain funds.

  • April 23, 2024

    J&J Seeks Dismissal Of ERISA Fiduciary Breach Suit Over Drug Benefits

    CAMDEN, N.J. — Arguing in part that the sponsor of the self-funded health plans at issue “has every incentive to negotiate the best overall deal,” Johnson and Johnson (J&J) and related defendants asked a New Jersey federal court to dismiss the complaint and strike the jury demand in a putative class case asserting Employee Retirement Income Security Act claims over alleged “mismanagement of prescription-drug benefits.”

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