Mealey's ERISA

  • December 14, 2021

    Chamber Denied Leave To Participate In ERISA Class Fees, Funds Suit

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — A federal judge in the District of Columbia on Dec. 7 denied the Chamber of Commerce of the United States of America’s motion for leave to participate as amicus curiae in a suit challenging a defined contribution retirement plan’s fees and selection of funds under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act.

  • December 13, 2021

    ERISA Insurer: Reviewers’ Decisions Support Denial For Residential Treatments

    DENVER — The fact that three separate reviewers found residential treatment not medically necessary demonstrates that a denial of insurance coverage was not arbitrary or capricious and should end the analysis even if a separate reason for denying coverage was improper, an insurer tells the 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in a Dec. 8 opening brief.

  • December 13, 2021

    High Court Denies Certiorari For Fiduciary Duty Petition Conditioned On Gannett

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Supreme Court on Dec. 13 denied certiorari for a petition by retirement plan participants concerning whether dismissal on the pleadings is appropriate when a fiduciary is accused of imprudence based on maintaining a single-stock fund in a defined contribution plan where participants may sell their shares and reinvest in diversified funds.

  • December 13, 2021

    U.S. Supreme Court Won’t Review 4th Circuit 401(k) Diversification Ruling

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Supreme Court on Dec. 13 denied certiorari to a petition from Gannett Co. Inc. and The Gannett Benefit Plans Committee regarding a dispute over the Employee Retirement Income Security Act’s diversification requirement.

  • December 13, 2021

    High Court Seeks U.S. View On ERISA Fiduciary Dispute Over Insurer, PBM Price-Setting

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Supreme Court on Dec. 13 invited the solicitor general to file a brief expressing the United States’ views on a petition by health plans and individual subscribers for review of a ruling that a health benefits provider and a pharmacy benefits manager (PBM) were not acting as fiduciaries under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act when they set prescription drug prices.

  • December 13, 2021

    Settlement Approved In University Of Miami ERISA Excessive Fee Suit

    MIAMI — A federal judge in Florida on Dec. 9 granted preliminary approval of a $1.85 million class action settlement in a lawsuit by participants in University of Miami’s defined contribution plan related to their claims of excessive fees.

  • December 10, 2021

    3rd Circuit: No Jurisdiction On Interlocutory Appeal Of ERISA Trust Case

    PHILADELPHIA — Finding lack of jurisdiction on the grounds that a challenged clarification order is not an injunction and does not modify an injunction, a Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Dec. 7 dismissed an interlocutory appeal in a suit over a pension trust governed by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act.

  • December 09, 2021

    High Court Denies Certiorari In Dispute Over Vesting Of Retiree Medical Benefits

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Supreme Court on Dec. 6 denied a petition for a writ of certiorari in a dispute over whether benefits in retiree medical plans vested under the plans and collective bargaining and Employee Retirement Income Security Act documents.

  • December 08, 2021

    Disability Claimant Was Incapable Of Working Full Time, 4th Circuit Panel Says

    RICHMOND, Va. — A disability claimant is entitled to a reinstatement of disability benefits because the medical evidence shows that the claimant was incapable of working in a sedentary full-time employment position when his benefits were terminated, the Fourth District U.S. Court of Appeals said Dec. 7 in reversing a district court’s judgment in favor of the disability insurer.

  • December 08, 2021

    Petitioner Argues That 4th Circuit’s ERISA Party In Interest Ruling Creates Split

    WASHINGTON, D.C. —  A third-party service provider on Nov. 17 petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court for certiorari on a Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel’s ruling that it could be held liable as a nonfiduciary party in interest under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act’s prohibited transaction provision, arguing that the decision creates a split with the 10th Circuit.

  • December 08, 2021

    4th Circuit Affirms Liability In ESOP Purchase Case, Reverses On Debt Forgiveness

    RICHMOND, Va. — In a Dec. 6 ruling on an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) stock purchase that was found to be a prohibited transaction under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, a Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel affirmed that a retiring CEO was liable as a knowing participant, but reversed the lower court in approving a reduction in the damages award based on debt forgiveness.

  • December 07, 2021

    Justices Hear Pleading Standard Arguments In ERISA Fees Duty Of Prudence Suit

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — In a case centered on the pleading standard for claims of breach of the duty of prudence under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act due to allegedly excessive fees, participants in Northwestern University’s defined-contribution retirement plans and the U.S. government as amicus curiae on Dec. 6 told U.S. Supreme Court justices that the challenged decision impermissibly sets a new rule and Northwestern contended that dismissal was proper.

  • December 06, 2021

    Record-Keeper Seeks Protective Order For DOL Subpoena In ERISA Investigation

    CHIGAGO — Following an Illinois federal court’s order granting enforcement of an administrative subpoena by the secretary of Labor against a company that provides record-keeping, administrative and consulting services for Employee Retirement Income Security Act plan clients, the company on Nov. 18 sought a protective order.

  • December 06, 2021

    Disability Claimant Denied Full, Fair Review Under ERISA, 1st Circuit Panel Says

    BOSTON — The First Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Nov. 10 vacated a district court’s ruling in favor of a disability insurer after finding that a disability plan participant’s claim must be remanded to the plan administrator for a full and fair review because the insurer did not allow the claimant the opportunity to respond to the findings of an independent medical exam.

  • December 03, 2021

    District Court Did Not Err In Finding Claimant Is Disabled From Any Occupation

    CHICAGO — While a district court erred in resolving factual disputes on motions for summary judgment, the district court did not err in finding that a disability claimant is unable to perform the duties of any occupation, the Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals said Nov. 30.

  • December 03, 2021

    5th Circuit:  Retirement Required COBRA Notice Due To Contribution Change

    NEW ORLEANS — An employee’s retirement required notice under the Consolidated Omnibus Reconciliation Act of 1985 (COBRA) because within 18 months, it changed her contribution required to continue health insurance coverage, a Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Nov. 30, partly reversing a Louisiana federal court’s ruling.

  • December 03, 2021

    Estate Administrator Petitions High Court Over Denial Of Life Insurance Benefits

    WASHINGTON, D.C. —  An estate administrator who was denied life insurance benefits when an insured died without naming a beneficiary asserts in an Oct. 5 petition for a writ of certiorari that the U.S. Supreme Court should review the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals’ ruling in favor of the life insurer to “establish uniformity related to interpretations of group life insurance provisions.”

  • December 02, 2021

    2nd Circuit Vacates Judgment In ERISA Fiduciary Ruling On Multiemployer Plans

    NEW YORK — Trustees do not act in a fiduciary capacity under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act “when they pass amendments to a multiemployer benefit plan,” the Second Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Nov. 30, vacating a New York federal court’s grant of summary judgment and remanding the case.

  • December 02, 2021

    Magistrate Recommends Mostly Granting Bill Of Costs Against Government In ESOP Suit

    HONOLULU — A federal magistrate judge in Hawaii on Nov. 18 recommended mostly granting a $78,341.39 bill of costs filed against the federal government by defendants in a lawsuit over an employee stock ownership plan (ESOP), with an exception for what was deemed defense counsel misconduct.

  • November 30, 2021

    Termination Of Benefits Was Arbitrary, Capricious, 3rd Circuit Panel Says

    PHILADELPHIA — A disability insurer’s termination of benefits was arbitrary and capricious because the insurer “deviated significantly from its normal eligibility-review processes” by requesting an outside evaluation of the claimant, the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals said Nov. 26 in affirming a district court’s decision to reinstate a disability claimant’s benefits.

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