Mealey's ERISA

  • March 21, 2024

    Petitioners: Cornell Case Is Best To Resolve ERISA Prohibited Transaction Split

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — Petitioners told the U.S. Supreme Court that of two 2023 U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals decisions that amplified a “preexisting circuit split” over Employee Retirement Income Security Act pleading standards for prohibited-transaction claims, the ruling against them “is the superior vehicle for review.”

  • March 21, 2024

    $2M Settlement Gets Final Approval In ERISA Suit Over Alleged Imprudence

    PHOENIX — A $2 million class settlement has been granted final approval in Arizona federal court in an Employee Retirement Income Security Act case where the plaintiffs alleged mismanagement of their retirement plan and challenge certain funds and fees.

  • March 20, 2024

    Termination Of Benefits Was Not Arbitrary, Capricious, New York Federal Judge Says

    WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. — Substantial evidence supports a disability insurer’s finding that a disability claimant is not disabled from performing the duties of any occupation, a New York federal judge said, noting that an independent medical exam report and multiple independent peer review reports support the disability insurer’s determination.

  • March 19, 2024

    Disability Insurer’s Denial Of Benefits Was Not De Novo Wrong, Judge Says

    TAMPA, Fla. — A disability insurer’s denial of disability benefits was not de novo wrong because the disability claimant failed to show that he was disabled prior to his retirement, a Florida federal judge said March 18.

  • March 19, 2024

    Judge Will Grant Preliminary Injunction For Illinois Temp Worker Provision

    CHICAGO — Ruling that trade associations and staffing agencies are likely to succeed on the merits of their argument that the Employee Retirement Income Security Act preempts one of three challenged amendments to the Illinois Day and Temporary Labor Services Act (DTLSA), an Illinois federal judge agreed to grant a preliminary injunction enjoining enforcement of that “equal pay” amendment.

  • March 18, 2024

    5th Circuit Majority Denies Ex-NFL Player’s Petition For Rehearing En Banc

    NEW ORLEANS — The Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals denied a former National Football League (NFL) player’s petition for panel rehearing and the majority of the court denied rehearing en banc, voting 11-5 against rehearing en banc, and issued a substituted opinion on March 15, reiterating that a district court’s ruling in favor of the former player must be reversed because the former player failed to show that he had any changed circumstances that would entitle him to additional disability benefits under the plan.

  • March 15, 2024

    Termination Of LTD Benefits Was Result Of Deliberate Reasoning Process, Panel Says

    CINCINNATI — A disability insurer’s termination of a claimant’s long-term disability (LTD) benefits was not arbitrary and capricious because the insurer’s decision was the result of a deliberate and principled reasoning process and was supported by substantial medical evidence, the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals said in affirming a district court’s opinion.

  • March 15, 2024

    Respondents To High Court: Deny Review Of 4th Circuit ERISA Surcharge Ruling

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — Arguing that the case is a poor vehicle and that a purported circuit conflict is “illusory,” an employer and related respondents urge the U.S. Supreme Court to deny review and summary reversal in a suit concerning whether surcharge is available under an Employee Retirement Income Security Act provision that allows equitable relief.

  • March 14, 2024

    5th Circuit Affirms Ruling Against Beneficiary In Business Travel Accident Row

    NEW ORLEANS — Affirming summary judgment in an Employee Retirement Income Security Act dispute involving business travel accident (BTA) insurance, a Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel issued an unpublished opinion ruling that the trial court “correctly reviewed the denial [of benefits] for abuse of discretion.”

  • March 14, 2024

    Labs Seek Reconsideration In ERISA Preemption, Florida Payment Laws Case

    NEW HAVEN, Conn. — Defendant laboratories in a battle over compensation for care provided to insureds filed a motion urging a federal judge in Connecticut to reconsider a finding that the Employee Retirement Income Security Act preempts certain claims, saying that Florida law creates a separate payment mandate that makes exploration of the plan language unnecessary.

  • March 13, 2024

    AT&T Retirees File Putative Class ERISA Suit Over Pension Risk Transfer Deal

    BOSTON — Asserting in part that “reinsurance of ‘Pension Risk Transfer’ liabilities in Bermuda poses unique risks to pensioners,” four AT&T Inc. retirees who participated in a defined-benefit pension plan filed a class complaint in Massachusetts federal court challenging a “de-risking” transaction under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act.

  • March 11, 2024

    Class Counsel Get $20.3M In Settlement Of ERISA Proprietary Funds Case

    BOSTON — A Massachusetts federal judge on March 8 issued orders granting final approval to a $61 million deal with General Electric Co. (GE) and related defendants that the plaintiffs said is “the largest [Employee Retirement Income Security Act] class action settlement of claims involving proprietary funds”; the judge also awarded class counsel a third of that amount for attorney fees.

  • March 08, 2024

    Claimant Says Additional LTD Benefits Are Owed Under Disability Plan

    PORTLAND, Maine — In a March 7 complaint filed in Maine federal court, a disability claimant maintains that she is entitled to unpaid long-term disability (LTD) benefits under a disability plan because she remains disabled under the terms of the plan.

  • March 08, 2024

    District Court’s Decision Should Be Affirmed, Disability Claimant Maintains

    PHILADELPHIA — A district court’s judgment in favor of a disability claimant should be affirmed because the court properly found that the plan’s termination of the claimant’s long-term disability (LTD) benefits was arbitrary and capricious and that the decision was inadequate for a number of reasons, the claimant says in an appellee brief filed in the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals.

  • March 08, 2024

    8th Circuit Sets Argument In ERISA Case Over Cross-Plan Offsetting

    ST. LOUIS — The Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals has set argument for March 14 in an Employee Retirement Income Security Act appeal where health plan participants challenging the practice known as “cross-plan offsetting” are seeking revival of their putative class suit, which was dismissed for failure to plead an injury in fact.

  • March 08, 2024

    $5M Class Deal With Health System Gets Preliminary OK In ERISA Imprudence Case

    DETROIT — A Michigan federal judge has granted preliminary approval of a $5 million class settlement proposal in a suit challenging numerous aspects of the management of two Henry Ford Health System (HFHS) retirement plans under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act.

  • March 08, 2024

    Disability Insurer’s Interpretation Of Plan Terms Was Incorrect, Judge Says

    KANSAS CITY, Kan. — A Kansas federal judge granted a disability claimant’s motion for summary judgment after determining that the claimant is owed disability benefits under his employer’s disability plan because the disability insurer’s interpretation of the plan terms regarding eligibility of coverage was incorrect.

  • March 08, 2024

    Disability Claimant Failed To Meet Burden Of Proving Disability, Judge Says

    LAS VEGAS — A disability claimant failed to meet his burden of proving that he was disabled from performing the duties of his regular occupation as an attorney, a Nevada federal judge held after determining that the long-term disability (LTD) insurer engaged in meaningful dialogue with the claimant and did not abuse its discretion in denying the claim for LTD benefits.

  • March 08, 2024

    Parties Settle Long-Haul COVID Disability Dispute; Dismissal Order Entered

    BOSTON — A Massachusetts federal judge entered an order of dismissal after the parties in a dispute over the availability of long-term disability (LTD) benefits for long-haul COVID symptoms notified the court that they reached a settlement.

  • March 07, 2024

    Airline Entities Seek Summary Judgment In Narrowed ERISA Suit Over ESG Factors

    FORT WORTH, Texas — Days after a Texas federal judge denied their dismissal bid, airline defendants in a putative class case concerning environmental, social and governance (ESG) considerations and the purported proxy voting activism of investment management firms filed a summary judgment motion arguing that lack of proof dooms the action’s pleaded and unpleaded theories.

  • March 07, 2024

    Plaintiffs Beat Dismissal Bid In ERISA Fees, Funds Row Despite Documents Ruling

    LOS ANGELES — Ruling in part that certain documents were incorporated by reference into the amended complaint, a California federal judge denied dismissal of a putative class case against Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and related defendants over a 403(b) retirement plan’s fees and funds.

  • March 07, 2024

    Exhaustion Of Remedies Under LTD Plan Not Required Prior To Filing Suit

    TACOMA, Wash. — A disability insurer’s motion for judgment on the pleadings must be denied because the long-term disability (LTD) plan at issue did not require the disability claimant to exhaust all administrative remedies prior to filing suit, a Washington federal judge concluded in denying the insurer’s motion.

  • March 07, 2024

    Former Twitter Officers File ERISA Suit For Severance Against Musk, Others

    OAKLAND, Calif. — Alleging that Elon Musk “fired them without reason, then made up fake cause and appointed employees of his various companies to uphold his decision,” four former Twitter Inc. officers or executives sued Musk and other defendants in California federal court, asserting Employee Retirement Income Security Act claims for severance benefits, equitable relief and statutory penalties.

  • March 07, 2024

    Judge Refuses To Compel Disability Claimant To Exhaust Administrative Remedies

    PORTLAND, Ore. — An Oregon federal judge denied a disability plan’s motion to compel a disability claimant to exhaust all administrative remedies because the disability plan failed to adhere to the 45-day deadline for deciding a claimant’s appeal of a long-term disability (LTD) benefits claim and failed to show that a special circumstance existed that warranted an extension to the 45-day deadline.

  • March 06, 2024

    Disability Insurer Abused Its Discretion In Denying LTD Benefits, Judge Determines

    ALEXANDRIA, Va. — A disability insurer abused its discretion in denying a claim for long-term disability (LTD) benefits because the insurer failed to consider the opinions of the claimant’s treating physicians and failed to consider whether the claimant’s heart condition and health would deteriorate if he was forced to work in a high-stress job, a Virginia federal judge said in granting the claimant’s motion for summary judgment and denying the insurer’s motion for summary judgment.

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