Mealey's ERISA

  • August 25, 2021

    Judge Finds Sufficient Evidence Supports Denial Of Proton Beam Claim

    SAN DIEGO — While the record shows that studies are split on the proficiency of proton beam therapy as a treatment for prostate cancer, there exists sufficient evidence supporting an insurer’s denial of coverage for the treatment, a federal judge in California said in an Aug. 24 findings of fact and conclusions of law affirming denial of benefits.

  • August 25, 2021

    Judge OKs Dismissal Of ERISA Age Discrimination Suit Over Residency Requirement

    HOUSTON — Beneficiaries of a retiree health plan who asserted claims of age discrimination in contesting a requirement that they must reside in the United States to continue to receive benefits did not cite any provisions of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act or the plan supporting that argument, a federal judge in Texas said Aug. 20, dismissing the case against ExxonMobil Corp. and its health plan with prejudice for failure to state a claim.

  • August 24, 2021

    2nd Circuit Affirms Dismissal Of Multiemployer Fund’s Delinquent Contribution Case

    NEW YORK — A multiemployer defined-benefit pension plan did not plausibly state a claim for delinquent contributions under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, a Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled in a per curiam opinion issued Aug. 13, affirming the judgment of a federal court in New York that dismissed the case with prejudice.

  • August 24, 2021

    Judge OKs ERISA Suit Class Certification, Won’t Approve $79M Settlement Agreements

    NEW YORK — A federal judge in New York on Aug. 17 denied preliminary approval to proposed class action settlement agreements totaling $48.5 million in retirement plan participants’ suit alleging Employee Retirement Income Security Act violations by their employer and plan fiduciaries, including a third-party investment adviser, citing an injunctive provision to which the U.S. secretary of Labor objected; the judge also granted what is often referred to as “mandatory” class certification over the objections of plan participants who elected to take part in other suits or pursue arbitration of their claims.

  • August 24, 2021

    9th Circuit Dismisses Disability Claimant’s Appeal Following Parties’ Settlement

    SAN FRANCISCO — The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Aug. 19 dismissed a disability claimant’s appeal after the parties reached a settlement following mediation of the dispute, which centered on the disability insurer’s termination of the claimant’s benefits after paying benefits for 17 years.

  • August 24, 2021

    Finding That Union Lacks Standing, Judge Dismisses COBRA Notice Violations Suit

    SEATTLE — A union lacks standing to sue alleging violations of Consolidated Omnibus Reconciliation Act (COBRA), a federal judge in Washington ruled Aug. 12, granting a motion by WeDriveU Inc. and its employee health benefits plan administrator to dismiss the suit and saying that the relief requested precludes the union from meeting the requirements of Article III associational standing.

  • August 23, 2021

    Panel Affirms Finding In Favor Of Disability Plan, Says No Abuse Of Discretion

    ST. LOUIS — A district court properly found that a disability claims administrator did not abuse its discretion in terminating a claimant’s long-term disability (LTD) benefits under the plan’s total disability standard because substantial evidence supported the termination of benefits and the term “any compensable employment,” as defined in the plan, was properly interpreted, the Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals said Aug. 20.

  • August 23, 2021

    High Court Sets Cert Petition Conference On Deference Dispute Over Pension Plan

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Supreme Court on Aug. 18 scheduled for conference a petition for certiorari on a decision upholding final benefits determinations that Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. (PBGC) made as trustee of a pension plan; plan participants argue that the District of Columbia Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruling erred in holding that deference under Chevron U.S.A., Inc. v. Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc. applies to all PBGC interpretations of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act.

  • August 20, 2021

    Tribe Tells 6th Circuit Blue Cross ‘Squandered’ ERISA Plan Assets

    CINCINNATI — A Michigan federal court erred in finding that a Blue Cross Blue Shield insurer did not violate the Employee Retirement Income Security Act by failing to pay Medicare-like rates for hospital services under a health care plan for tribal members, the tribe says in an Aug. 18 reply brief seeking reversal in the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals.

  • August 18, 2021

    2nd Circuit Affirms ‘Top Hat’ Judgment, Failure Of Gender Discrimination Claims

    NEW YORK — A federal court in New York correctly concluded that denial of benefits in a plan governed by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act was arbitrary and capricious and granted judgment in a former employee’s favor, a Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled in an Aug. 13 summary order; the panel also ruled that the lower court correctly granted summary judgment on gender discrimination claims that it found failed.

  • August 17, 2021

    Divided 2nd Circuit Panel Vacates, Remands Part Of ERISA Prudence Case

    NEW YORK — A federal judge in New York erred in granting dismissal of a claim by retirement plan participants that New York University (NYU) breached its duty of prudence by offering particular share classes of mutual funds and in denying their motion to add additional defendants, a divided Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Aug. 16, partly vacating and remanding the lower court’s judgements in regard to those issues in the class action dispute but otherwise affirming its rulings in favor of NYU.

  • August 16, 2021

    7th Circuit: Plans Don’t Lose ERISA Exemption With Charter School Inclusion

    CHICAGO — The inclusion of charter school teachers in an Illinois school district’s pension and welfare plans doesn’t eliminate the plans’ exemption from the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, a Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Aug. 10, reinstating only discrimination and late payment claims brought by a public school teacher following her firing.

  • August 16, 2021

    Providers See Right Of Action In Texas Emergency Care Laws, No ERISA Preemption

    HOUSTON — “Shall pay” language in Texas emergency care laws creates a payment requirement, and precedent shows that merely increasing an insurer’s cost through legally imposed reimbursement rates does not implicate Employee Retirement Income Security Act preemption, providers told the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals Aug. 13 in arguing for affirmance or certification of the question to the Texas Supreme Court.

  • August 16, 2021

    United To Settle ERISA, Other Claims Over Tiered Mental Health Reimbursements

    NEW YORK — A health insurance company accused of violating federal laws, including the Employee Retirement Income Security Act and the Affordable Care Act (ACA), and New York state laws by using a tiered reimbursement policy for certain out-of-network (ONET) mental health services has agreed to not reinstate the policy and pay $10 million to settle the claims brought on behalf of a class, the Department of Labor and the people of New York, the plaintiffs write in a motion seeking preliminary approval filed on Aug. 11 in a federal court in New York.

  • August 16, 2021

    New Jersey Federal Judge Stands By Finding That ERISA Standing Is Lacking

    TRENTON, N.J. — A federal judge in New Jersey on Aug. 3 again found that an assignment by a breast cancer patient of benefits to her health care provider cannot confer standing under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act as long as the plan includes an anti-assignment provision.

  • August 13, 2021

    NFL Player’s Disability Claim Remanded For Full And Fair Review

    SAN FRANCISCO — The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Aug. 10 agreed with a district court’s finding that a disability plan administrator abused its discretion and did not provide a National Football League player with a full and fair review; however, the panel said the lower court erred in remanding the player’s claim to the plan administrator rather than awarding the player benefits.

  • August 10, 2021

    Actuarial Assumptions Used For Joint And Survivor Annuity Challenged

    CHICAGO — Citgo Petroleum Corp. used mortality tables that underestimated life expectancy when calculating pension benefits in the form of a joint and survivor annuity, thereby violating the requirement under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act that pension benefits be the “actuarial equivalent” of a single-life annuity, pension plan participants in a class action complaint filed Aug. 3 in federal court in Illinois allege.

  • August 10, 2021

    8th Circuit: Contributions Owed Despite Direct Payment Of Benefits To Nonunion Workers

    ST. LOUIS — An employer’s direct payment of fringe benefits to nonunion employees following an audit by a state agency did not relieve the employer from making contributions to a multiemployer welfare fund on behalf of those nonunion employees pursuant to a collective bargaining agreement, the Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals affirmed Aug. 5.

  • August 06, 2021

    ERISA Claims Against PNC Dismissed With Leave To Amend In 401(k) Plan Fees Suit

    PITTSBURGH — Participants in a retirement plan alleging excessive fees failed to state a claim under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act for breach of fiduciary duty against their employer and plan fiduciaries, a federal judge in Pennsylvania ruled in an Aug. 3 memorandum opinion and order, granting dismissal of the complaint with leave to amend.

  • August 06, 2021

    Amici To 2nd Circuit: Affirm Dismissal Of Claims Over Cornell Retirement Plans

    NEW YORK — The Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals should affirm a lower court’s judgment dismissing claims by participants in two Cornell University retirement plans that fiduciaries violated the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, The Chamber of Commerce of the United States of America and The American Benefits Council said as amici curiae in a brief filed Aug. 3.

Can't find the article you're looking for? Click here to search the Mealey's ERISA archive.