ERISA makes clear that it governs “any plan, fund, or program … established … by an employer … for the purpose of providing [health benefits] for its participants.” 29 U.S.C. § 1002(1). Although most employee benefit plans that provide benefits to employees are governed by ERISA, some arrangements are not. The Northern District of Illinois’
James C. Goodfellow, Jr. is of counsel in the Chicago, Illinois, office of Jackson Lewis P.C., where he helps employers reduce risk by giving advice on difficult issues prior to any disputes with the goal of avoiding any disputes. When litigation is unavoidable, Jim helps employers protect their assets and reputations by vigorously and efficiently defending them and their interests.
Jim represents employers, employee benefit plans, and fiduciaries in a broad range of employment and employee benefits litigation. He successfully has handled litigation from pre-lawsuit negotiation and evaluation through dispositive motions, as well as appeals before eight U.S. Circuit Courts of Appeal. In addition to his litigation experience, Jim is a skilled negotiator who has shepherded difficult cases through all forms of alternative dispute resolution.
From Fortune 500 companies to start-ups, to small, closely held corporations, Jim has assisted employers in matters involving ERISA, contract disputes, insurance coverage, unfair trade practice and consumer protection act claims, bad faith insurance claims handling, federal and state law race and gender discrimination claims, federal and state law age discrimination claims, federal and state law wage and hour claims, the FMLA, vicarious liability, RICO, OSHA, and the Delaware Limited Partnership Act. Jim also counsels clients on day-to-day employment law matters and assists them with revisions to employee policies and employment applications. Jim also has litigated unfair labor practice charges and contract interpretation matters.
Prior to entering private practice, Jim served as a law clerk to Justices Barry R. Schaller and David M. Borden, both retired, of the State of Connecticut Supreme Court.
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…