ERISA ruling shows daunting review standard for claimants

The most critical issue in Employee Retirement Income Security Act benefits litigation is the standard of judicial review applied by the courts. Under the deferential arbitrary and capricious standard of review, the court reviews a claim record compiled by the insurance company[1] to determine whether a claim denial was “downright unreasonable”[2] and not merely wrong. Because […]

ERISA remedies could increase under Liu v. SEC ruling

Employee benefit claimants are frequently surprised by the limited remedies to them under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act. However, a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Liu v. U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission,[1] might open the door to additional remedies. Although many ERISA claims involve benefits provided under disability, life or health insurance policies, […]

How discovery is evolving in ERISA benefits litigation

An aspect of Employee Retirement Income Security Act benefits litigation that distinguishes it from other civil litigation is that discovery in ERISA cases is only stingily granted. Although, as will be shown below, that appears to be changing. There is no statutory basis for limiting discovery in ERISA cases, nor do the Federal Rules of […]