On October 1, 2013, DeBofsky, Sherman & Casciari filed the case of Harder v. Robert Morris University, No. 13cv7041 (U.S.Dist.Ct.N.D.Ill.) challenging an employer's claim to an employee's life insurance benefits. The lawsuit alleges multiple ERISA violations by Robert Morris University, asserting a breach of fiduciary duty owed to its employee, Philip Harder, who died earlier this year. The case has been assigned to Judge James Holderman and Magistrate Judge Jeffrey Cole.
A federal judge in Alabama (Karen Bowdre) recently issued a critical ruling in a disability case involving fibromyalgia. The court made numerous keen observations about the review process and the nature of fibromyalgia, carefully analyzing all of the issues presented. Here is our discussion and analysis of the court's ruling:
Papotto v. Hartford Life & Acc.Ins.Co., 2013 U.S.App.LEXIS 19660 (3d Cir. September 26, 2013) is a significant recently issued case involving ERISA civil procedure. The underlying issue in this case dealt with an accidental death and dismemberment insurance policy. The policy excluded losses "sustained while Intoxicated." Because the decedent had consumed alcohol prior to his death, Hartford denied the benefit claim; however, the district court ruled that there had to be a causal connection between intoxication and death, and remanded the case to Hartford for reconsideration. The court of appeals determined that it lacked jurisdiction to review the remand order either as a final judgment or under the collateral order doctrine and dismissed the appeal.