Attorneys’ Fees

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Can prevailing defendants in ERISA cases recover attorneys’ fees?

In a ruling recently secured by DeBofsky Sherman & Casciari, P.C., a federal court definitively ruled that prevailing defendants in ERISA cases are rarely entitled to fees. In Geiger v. Aetna Life Ins. Co., 2016 WL 5391206 (N.D. Ill. September 27, 2016) (opinion), where a court upheld Aetna’s termination of disability benefits (currently on appeal), […]

Is a court remand sufficient for a fee award?

In ERISA litigation, the availability of an attorney fee award pursuant to 29 U.S.C. Sec. 1132(g) gives an incentive to attorneys to take on such difficult cases.  But what happens if a court fails to decide the matter, but instead, remands the case to reconsider the issues presented. In Gross v. Sun Life Assur.Co. of Canada, […]

DeBofsky, Sherman & Casciari wins attorney fee award

Attorney fee awards available under ERISA are a means of providing an incentive to counsel to agree to represent benefit claimants, while at the same time, fee awards create a deterrent against unjustified denials by benefit plan administrators.  In Fontaine v. Metro.Life Ins.Co., 2014 U.S.Dist.LEXIS 75012, 2014 WL 2511091 (N.D.Ill. June 3, 2014)(copy available at […]

‘Bad faith’ not required in awarding fees

Fee awards made pursuant to the Employee Retirement Income Security Act’s (ERISA) fee-shifting statutory provision (29 U.S.C. Section 1132(g)) are a critical part of ERISA litigation. A ruling last month from the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, Donachie v. Liberty Life Assurance Co. of Boston, 2014 U.S.App.LEXIS 4593 (2nd Cir. March 11, 2014), clarified […]