In a decision illustrating the importance of a deferential standard of review in an ERISA plan document, the Second Circuit affirmed the dismissal of severance claims by a disabled employee, concluding that the complaint pled facts showing that the denial of benefits was reasonable. Soto v. Disney Severance Pay Plan, No. 20-4081 (2d Cir.

A most basic precept of the law is the attorney-client privilege. A litigant being able to speak freely and completely with his or her counsel without the fear of the conversation being revealed has been a cornerstone of American jurisprudence.

Although the concept of the attorney-client privilege is recognized in ERISA matters, it is modified

A California district court recently foreclosed a former independent contractor’s claims for benefits from ERISA-governed plans when it found that plaintiff was not a “participant” as defined by ERISA and thus did not have statutory standing to assert his ERISA claims. Alders v. YUM! Brands, Inc., No. 8:21-cv-01191-PSG-DFM (C.D. Cal. Feb. 1, 2022).

After working

A Massachusetts district court recently ordered defendants in an ERISA fiduciary breach case to produce certain communications with their in-house and outside counsel, rejecting defendants’ argument that the communications occurred in the context of attorneys advising a 401(k) plan’s sponsor and fiduciaries as to their potential fiduciary liability. In re GE ERISA Litig., 2022

Yesterday, the Supreme Court issued its unanimous decision in Hughes v. Northwestern University, No. 19-1401, just one of more than 150 similar class action suits filed around the country in the last few years. The case was brought by retirement plan participants alleging that plan fiduciaries breached their duties under ERISA relating to recordkeeping and

The Eleventh Circuit recently affirmed an Alabama district court’s decision granting summary judgment in favor of Allstate Insurance Company in a consolidated ERISA class action challenging Allstate’s decision to stop paying premiums on retired employees’ life insurance policies. Klaas v. Allstate Ins. Co., 2021 U.S. App. LEXIS 38473 (11th Cir. Dec. 28, 2021).

For

When a district court faces a claim for benefits under ERISA Section 502(a)(1)(B) where it believes that mistakes were made, but the record is not sufficiently developed to award benefits, the court may remand the matter to the plan administrator for further administrative review. Remands such as this have been affirmed by circuit courts for

In Avenoso v. Reliance Standard Life Insurance Company, No. 21-1772, 2021 U.S. App. LEXIS 35264 (8th Cir. Nov. 30, 2021), the Eighth Circuit clarified its position in a circuit split over the proper judicial procedure for deciding ERISA benefits cases.

The underlying case concerned the defendant’s denial of long-term disability benefits under an ERISA

Today, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Hughes v. Northwestern University, No. 19-1401, just one of about 150 similar class action suits filed around the country in the last few years. The case was brought by retirement plan participants alleging that plan fiduciaries breached their duties under ERISA relating to recordkeeping and investment fees

Shortly after the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) issued its cybersecurity guidance for employee retirement plans and updated its audit inquiries to include compliance with these guidelines, a federal court in Chicago ruled an employee benefit services provider must comply with a subpoena requesting, among other things, documents and