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Emotional Distress Archives

Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress and ERISA

Although the ERISA law generally preempts state law causes of action that relate to claims for employee benefits, a recent federal court ruling from California Dale v. Reed Group, Ltd., 2015 WL 6954915 (N.D. Cal. November 10, 2015), permitted an exception to that general rule.  Ed Dale, an employee of Intel Corporation who became disabled, was refused long-term disability benefits.  In challenging the benefit denial, he added a claim for intentional infliction of emotional distress (IIED), which Intel and its benefit administrators tried to have dismissed on ERISA preemption grounds.  He maintained that in the course of his claim, he was accused of lying or exaggerating his claims, urged to take experimental medication and forced to undergo examinations that caused pain, emotional distress and anxiety. 

DeBofsky, Sherman & Casciari, PC