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Tuesday, June 16, 2015

2015 ERISA Litigation Review

For the sixth year, I've prepared the annual review of ERISA litigation for the Annual Review of the Labor and Employment Law Section of the Connecticut Bar Association.  Here is a link to the article.  It is intended for lawyers, but it can give you an idea of the current state of ERISA litigation.  Among the topics discussed are:

  • What remedies are available under ERISA for both participants and plans;
  • Pending cases in the Supreme Court whether plans have the right to recover from personal injury recoveries for medical claims paid, and whether the Summary Plan Description is a plan document that can be enforced;
  • The latest installment of the saga of Amara v. Cigna, where trial courts, appellate courts and the Supreme Court have striven mightily to try to fashion a remedy when a plan lies to its participants, constrained by the Supreme Court's prior decision severely limiting the remedies of plan participants.  
  • Long-term disability litigation in Connecticut district courts and other federal trial courts.  Several of the cases found against the insurer on grounds that the company's basis for disregarding the treating physicians opinions were not valid.  They provide some good clues about how to attack the insurer's decisions on appeal.  
Here is a link to my Employee Benefits Practice Page, which has links for the ERISA litigation updates I've prepared for the Connecticut Bar Association for 2010 through 2014.  Reading them together gives a good sense of the evolution of ERISA benefit appeals in Connecticut, and throughout the country.  

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