ERISA Standard of Review

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Standard of review in ERISA cases too deferential

A former football player for the Minnesota Vikings, Brent Boyd, sought disability benefits under a plan maintained by the National Football League. His claim was denied by the plan based on a finding that Boyd’s disability did not result from football-related injuries, and the district court upheld that determination. On appellate review, the 9th U.S. […]

Changed definition halts disability benefits

A production supervisor for an engineering company sought disability benefits after aggravating a back injury when he fell down a flight of stairs. Plaintiff Alfredo Ruiz applied for benefits from Continental Casualty Co. and submitted certification from his attending physician, who reported that due to physical limitations, Ruiz ”may not work.” Additional records were later […]

Deferential, yes, but certainly not inconsequential

What’s New Deferential, yes, but certainly not inconsequential Chicago Daily Law Bulletin April 18, 2005 by MARK D. DEBOFSKY The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals recently served up a surprise: a comprehensive signed opinion that was issued as unpublished, even though it covers significant ground and makes precedential findings in the course of reversing […]

Turning up the power of the lens raises the heat

Today’s case demonstrates that the actions of benefits administrators are worth some thought on the part of a plaintiff lawyer looking to heighten the level of scrutiny that is applied by a reviewing court. Kosiba v. Merck & Co., 2004 U.S.App.LEXIS 19164 (3d Cir. 9/14/2004). Anyone who litigates cases brought under the ERISA statute (Employee […]