Two recent Supreme Court decisions, and a recent Sixth Circuit analysis on remand from the Supreme Court, offer a roadmap of sorts on ERISA litigation. In both decisions, the Supreme Court did away with presumptions, and at the same time made it more difficult for plaintiffs to sue.
It’s a common fact pattern. A plan participant is injured and received benefits for treatment of his injuries. The participant then sues a third party for damages based on his injuries. The plan then seeks to recover a portion of the judgment or settlement in reimbursement. So common is this fact pattern that the ability of the plan fiduciaries to … Continue Reading
The Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit now is the first federal appellate court to decide whether a defined benefit plan sponsored by church-affiliated organization is a church plan under ERISA. The Court held that a hospital affiliated with a church could not establish a church plan exempt from ERISA. Kaplan v. Saint … Continue Reading
Our firm has acknowledged recently (see http://www.seyfarth.com/publications/MA041715-EB) that there are some questions about the authority of the EEOC to issue its proposed wellness regulations that claim legitimacy under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Just before the New Year, Judge Crabb of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin added her voice to those … Continue Reading
Knowingly spending money that isn’t yours sounds like a no-no, but depending on how the Supreme Court rules in Montanile v. Board of Trustees of the National Elevator Industry Health Benefit Plan (No. 14-723), certain ERISA plan participants may well have that perverse incentive, owing to obscure and arcane distinctions … Continue Reading
The Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit recently affirmed the importance of paying close attention to procedural rules.
In Central Illinois Carpenters Health & Welfare Trust Fund v. Con-Tech Carpentry, LLC, No. 15-1269, __ F.3d __ (7th Cir. Nov. 24, 2015), the plaintiffs, several multiemployer health and welfare benefit funds, sought roughly $70,000 … Continue Reading
Does filling out a form burden religious beliefs? We’re about to find out. On November 6, the Supreme Court agreed to review a group of seven cases (led by No. 14-1418, Zubik v. Burwell) brought by religious non-profit employers. The cases concern whether the contraception mandate in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) violates religious … Continue Reading
Claims by providers seeking to assert the rights of ERISA plan participants have been percolating in courts throughout the country. The Seventh Circuit has now weighed in, rejecting the notion that providers who have payment disputes with ERISA plans are entitled to utilize a plan’s ERISA-mandated claims appeal procedures simply by virtue of … Continue Reading
The Ninth Circuit, in Resilient Floor Covering Pension Trust Fund Board of Trustees v. Michael’s Floor Covering, Inc., Case No. 12-17675 (9th Cir. Sept. 11, 2015), joined the Seventh Circuit in finding that an asset purchaser, if a successor, can be liable for withdrawal liability triggered as a result of the sale. Moreover, the … Continue Reading
On May 12, 2015, we reported at here on a non-ERISA case accepted for review by the Supreme Court in the 2015-16 Supreme Court Term that has ERISA Litigation implications. Now, as that Term is set to begin on October 5, 2015, we report on a second non-ERISA case with ERISA Litigation implications that soon will be … Continue Reading