Fiduciary Duties

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Review your employee benefits every three years

We have all seen the letters in the mail. Your employer is updating their benefits policies, and by law, you are required to receive notification summarizing the changes. These notices contain a lot of legal jargon and fine print, and you probably threw them away without much more than a cursory glance. Although these updates […]

A lesson in disgorgement

The Employee Retirement Income Security Act law creates a number of perverse incentives for insurers that administer benefit claims. Without the availability of remedies beyond the restoration of benefits due, insurers can earn significant profits on delayed payments. A recent 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling, Rochow v. Life Ins. Co. of North America, […]

Can an employee’s obligation to provide evidence of insurability to secure life insurance be excused by the doctrine of incontestability or by an ERISA claim for breach of fiduciary duty?

A recent life insurance case involving the issue of incontestability caught our attention. Patterson v. Reliance Standard Life Ins.Co., 2013 U.S.Dist.LEXIS 171873 (C.D.Cal. December 4, 2013)(Issue: Incontestability). This case involved life insurance – the plaintiff’s sister was an employee of Redlands Community Hospital who was offered the opportunity to purchase $260,000 in voluntary group life […]