Fiduciary Duties

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Court addresses employee benefits law with regard to misrepresentations

One of the most vexing issues in employee benefits law relates to the apparent absence of remedies when harm results from misrepresentations made to employees since Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) only permits “appropriate equitable relief” (29 U.S.C. § 1132(a)(3)) and bars claims seeking legal remedies such as monetary damages. A leading example of […]

Insurer functioned as administrator court

A recent ruling from Texas discussed a vexing issue that often arises in benefit claim litigation brought under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, 29 U.S.C. § 1001 et seq. In Franklin v. AT&T Corp., 2008 U.S.Dist.LEXIS 99128 (N.D.Tex. Dec. 9), Metropolitan Life Insurance Company, which administers AT&T’s long-term disability plan, sought dismissal from a […]

Insurers not living up to ERISA duties

In a very significant ruling, the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals extended several recent precedents to reject an insurer’s reviewing doctor’s findings and uphold a judgment reinstating payment of disability benefits. Evans v. Unum Provident Corp., 2006 U.S.App.LEXIS 1359 (Jan. 20, 2006). The plaintiff, a nursing-home administrator, became disabled due to a seizure disorder […]