ERISA Standard of Review

Back to Insights

Discretionary clauses and choice of law in ERISA cases

The standard of judicial review utilized in cases brought under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) is critical and may even be outcome-determinative. The parties often vehemently assert their positions in litigation, with the plaintiffs strenuously claiming the right to a de novo standard of judicial review, while the defendants argue just as forcefully […]

7th Circuit hears oral argument on discretionary clause ban

On December 1, 2014, the U.S. Court of Appeals heard oral argument in the case of Mary C. Fontaine v. Metropolitan Life Insurance Company.  The issue before the court was whether an Illinois insurance regulation banning discretionary clauses in health and disability insurance policies survives ERISA preemption claims.  The lower court ruled in Fontaine’s favor.  […]

Discovery in ERISA cases

DeBofsky Sherman Casciari Reynolds P.C. recently received a ruling from Judge Robert Dow, Jr. of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois in Harding v. Hartford Life and Accident Insurance Company, 2017 WL 1316264 (N.D. Ill. April 10, 2017), which thoughtfully analyzed the scope of available discovery in an ERISA action adjudicated under the […]

Can a law banning discretionary clauses apply to an event occurring prior to the legislative enactment?

In Cerone v. Reliance Standard Life Ins.Co., 2014 U.S.Dist.LEXIS 46529 (S.D.Cal. March 28, 2014), after the plaintiff’s accidental death claim based on the death of her husband was denied and her appeal exhausted, Debra Cerone filed suit against Reliance Standard Life Insurance Company. The issue decided in this opinion was whether the de novo or […]