LexisNexis® Legal Newsroom
Williams Mullen: Court’s Award Of $3.8 Million Raises Questions About The Scope Of ERISA Remedies

By Mark S. Thomas and Robert W. Shaw The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit has affirmed an unusually large award of $3.8 million in a case involving the denial of long-term disability benefits. In Rochow v. Life Insurance Company of North America , No. 12-2074 (6th Cir. Dec. 6, 2013) [ enhanced...

US Supreme Court Rules That Fund’s Appeal of Merits Ruling Is Untimely

WASHINGTON, D.C. — (Mealey’s) A unanimous U.S. Supreme Court today ruled that a federal district court’s decision on the merits that left unresolved a multiemployer pension fund’s request for contractual attorney fees is a final decision subject to immediate appeal under 28 U...

Williams Mullen: Supreme Court Holds That Clock for the Appeal of an ERISA Decision Began Running Sooner Than Plaintiff Expected

By Mark S. Thomas and Robert W. Shaw The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that the plaintiffs, a group of union-affiliated employee benefit funds (the Funds), waited too late to give notice of their appeal from the trial court’s judgment on the merits of their case seeking payment of employer contributions...

Court Holds That ERISA Plaintiff Cannot Claim Equitable Remedies When the Plaintiff Has Adequate Remedies to Recover Plan Benefits

Court So Holds Notwithstanding the Expansion of the Kinds of Equitable Relief in CIGNA Corp. v. Amara by Mark S. Thomas & Robert W. Shaw A federal court has ruled that, although a recent U. S. Supreme Court decision expanded the kinds of equitable remedies available to a plaintiff under ERISA...

Williams Mullen: Court Holds ERISA Plaintiff Can’t Claim Equitable Remedies When They Have Adequate Remedies to Recover Plan Benefits, Notwithstanding the Expansion of the Kinds of Equitable Relief in CIGNA Corp. v. Amara

By Mark S. Thomas and Robert W. Shaw A federal court has ruled that, although a recent U. S. Supreme Court decision expanded the kinds of equitable remedies available to a plaintiff under ERISA § 502(a)(3), those remedies are still unavailable when the ERISA plaintiff has an adequate remedy to...

Supreme Court Hears Oral Arguments on ERISA Presumption of Prudence

WASHINGTON, D.C. — (Mealey’s) Fifth Third Bank and its employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) trustees in oral arguments this morning urged the U.S. Supreme Court to find that the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals erred by holding that participants in the ESOP were not required to allege...

Williams Mullen: ‘You Can’t Bend It That Way, Beckham’: Federal Court Dismisses Plaintiff’s Attempted Claims For Equitable Relief

By Mark S. Thomas and Robert W. Shaw Following the U. S. Supreme Court’s decision in CIGNA Corp. v. Amara , 131 S. Ct. 1866 (2011) [ enhanced opinion available to lexis.com subscribers ] [lexis.com subscribers may access Supreme Court briefs for this case ] , the federal courts have wrestled with...

U.S. Supreme Court: No Special Presumption of Prudence For ESOP Fiduciaries

WASHINGTON, D.C. — (Mealey’s) The U.S. Supreme Court today ruled unanimously that under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) fiduciaries are not entitled to a presumption of prudence and are subject to the same standard of prudence as all ERISA...

Williams Mullen: D.C. Circuit Rules That ‘Exhaustion of Administrative Remedies’ Is Not Required For Violations of ERISA’S Statutory Guarantees: Stephens v. Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation

By Mark S. Thomas and Robert W. Shaw The U. S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit has joined five other federal circuits to rule that pension plan participants need not exhaust a plan’s internal remedial procedures before they file suit in federal court to assert violations...

Williams Mullen: 4th Circuit Adopts More Demanding Test For Exercise Of Objective Prudence By Retirement Plan Fiduciaries

By Mark S. Thomas and Robert W. Shaw In the latest ruling in a long-running battle arising from company stock fund divestments, the U. S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit has underscored the importance of procedural prudence in the management of plan assets. In Tatum v. RJR Pension Investment...

Klein and Sharman on Fifth Third Bancorp. v. Dudenhoeffer and the Demise of the Moench/Kuper Presumption

In Fifth Third Bancorp. v. Dudenhoeffer , No. 12-751, 2014 U.S. LEXIS 4495 (June 25, 2014) [an enhanced version of this opinion is available to lexis.com subscribers] , the Supreme Court unanimously held that plan fiduciaries are not entitled to a "presumption of prudence" under the Employee...

Supreme Court Will Review Continuing Duty of Prudence Under ERISA

WASHINGTON, D.C. — (Mealey’s) The U.S. Supreme Court on Oct. 2 granted review of a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals opinion that ruled that revenue sharing between mutual funds and a 401(k) plan’s administrative service provider did not violate the plan or the Employee Retirement...

Ohio: Statute Precluding Comp Coverage for Worker Temporarily in the State Does Not Apply to Employee of Texas Non-Subscriber

Like a number of other states, Ohio has a provision in its comp act [ORC Ann. § 4123.54(H)] precluding workers’ compensation coverage for an employee when: (1) the employee is a resident of another state; (2) the employee is insured in a state other than Ohio; and (3) the employee is only...

Employee Benefits: The Importance of the Official Plan Document

by Sara E. Hauptfuehrer “Every employee benefit plan shall be established and maintained pursuant to a written instrument.” That is the first sentence in ERISA’s fiduciary responsibility provision. The ERISA-mandated “written instrument” – the official plan document...

Tackling the Elephant in the Room: Exclusive Remedy

How I spent my time at the National Workers’ Compensation & Disability Conference discussing the exclusive remedy doctrine By Deborah G. Kohl, Esq. As all workers’ compensation practitioners know exclusive remedy is the linchpin of the “great social bargain” underlying...

Third Circuit on Attorney's Fees Under ERISA

I took last week off from blogging to wrap up my first year of teaching employment law at Penn State. Now I'm back with an exciting new development from the Third Circuit . . . a precedential decision on the standard for awarding attorney's fees under ERISA! Okay, "exciting" might not...

Supreme Court Says Trust Law Informs Limitations Question in Imprudent Retention Case

WASHINGTON, D.C. — (Mealey’s) The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in a unanimous opinion today that the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals erred in holding that Employee Retirement Income Security Act Section 413(1) bars breach of fiduciary duty claims based on the fiduciaries’ initial selection...

U.S. Supreme Court Makes It Easier for Plan Sponsors to Challenge the Prudence of 401(k) Investment Options

On May 18, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court handed down a unanimous decision that effectively expands the time period during which a 401(k) plan participant may file suit for certain ERISA violations. In Tibble v. Edison International , the Court considered the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal’s decision...

Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP: 8 Key Estate Planning Opportunities Arising From The Supreme Court's Decision On Same-Sex Marriage

By Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP On June 26, 2015, the US Supreme Court ruled that a state ban on same sex marriage is unconstitutional, in violation of the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. The landmark ruling in the combined cases known as Obergefell v. Hodges [1] struck down every...

Williams Mullen: Health Care Providers Lacked Standing to Sue as ERISA Beneficiaries: Rojas v. Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company

By Mark S. Thomas The U. S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit has affirmed a dismissal of claims by two physicians and their medical practice asserting standing under ERISA to enjoin an insurer from removing them from its coverage network. Rojas v. Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company , Case...

U.S. High Court Considers Equitable Relief In ERISA Reimbursement Dispute

WASHINGTON, D.C. — (Mealey’s) The U.S. Supreme Court today heard arguments regarding whether an employee welfare plan’s attempt to recover an alleged overpayment from a participant constitutes permissible “equitable relief” under Employee Retirement Income Security Act Section...

Opt Outs to Workers’ Compensation: The Real Disconnect in What Is Being Said and What Is Being Implemented

By Jennifer C. Jordan, Esq., General Counsel, MEDVAL, LLC The National Workers’ Compensation and Disability Conference generally serves as a pretty good barometer of what the industry focus will be in the upcoming year and it is evident that 2016 will be all about opt-out. Given that it was...

Federalization of Workers’ Comp: Politics, Opt-Outs and Survival of the State-Based Status Quo

By Karen C. Yotis, Esq., Feature Resident Columnist for the LexisNexis Workers’ Compensation eNewsletter A chronicle of workers’ compensation in the United States tells the story of a persistent (but failing) federal advocacy that gives way to entrenched special interests . . . Every ...

Workers’ Comp Agency Declares Oklahoma Opt-Out Statute Unconstitutional

The Oklahoma Workers’ Compensation Commission’s decision may ultimately have set up a collision between ERISA preemption and the Oklahoma State Constitution By Michael C. Duff, Assoc. Dean of Student Programs and External Relations, and Centennial Distinguished Professor of Law, University...

Opt-Out Lessons From Lone Star State

Shining the Real Light on So-Called Texas Opt Outs By Thomas A. Robinson, co-author Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law As Lex Larson and I point out in the opening article in Workers’ Compensation Emerging Issues Analysis , 2015 Edition, 2016 will shape up to be an important one...