Category Archives: ERISA

Court Awards ERISA Plaintiff Attorney Fees – Case Settled After Suit Filed

ERISA (Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974) provides that “the court in its discretion may allow a reasonable attorney’s fee and costs of action to either party.” In a 2010 case, the Supreme Court held that a party does not need to be a “prevailing party” (usually thought of as the party who won […]

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Physical Disability “Contributed To” By Mental Illness

What is Required to trigger the “Mental Illness” Limitation in an ERISA Disability Policy? Many, if not most disability insurance policies contain what is commonly referred to as a “M & N” (Mental and Nervous) limitation. Typically, that limitation provides that only 24 months of benefits, will be paid for mental and nervous impairments. However, […]

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Administrator’s final denial letter must notify Claimant of time limits for filing suit.

According to Moyer v. Met Life Ins. Co., No. 13–1396, (6th Cir. 8/7/2014), 2014 WL 3866073,  __ F.3d __,), the failure to do so will excuse a reasonably late filing of a lawsuit. Mr. Moyer filed a claim disability benefits under an employer-sponsored disability insurance policy. The policy said: “[n]o lawsuit may be started more […]

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Insurance Companies Allowed to Keep Profits on Beneficiaries’ Money

Why do district courts ignore compelling Supreme Court precedent in ERISA benefits cases? In a recent case from Texas, Lopez v. Liberty Life, a district court judge did just that. And, unfortunately, it’s not unusual. But, they seem to do it only in ERISA benefits cases. The judicial cards are already stacked against a party […]

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An American Tragedy

            Act 1: A young parent secures a reasonably well-paying job with good benefits. In truth, because the family is young and dependent on her income, the fringe benefits are a significant factor in the decision to take the job. The new job holder feels secure in the knowledge that […]

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