Penalties for Failure to Provide ERISA Plan Documents

Pursuant to ERISA, a federal law that governs employee insurance benefits provided by private employers, plan administrators have an obligation to provide plan documents when an employee becomes covered by an insurance plan or upon written request. If the plan administrator – usually the employer – fails to provide these documents, then the plan administrator could be liable for penalties. …

ERISA Claims for Breach of Fiduciary Duty

The Employee Retirement Income Security Act is a federal law that governs claims for benefits under most insurance plans sponsored by private employers. ERISA provides a cause of action for the denial of benefits in 29 U.S.C. § 1132(a)(1)(B). It also provides for a cause of action for breach of fiduciary duty in 29 U.S.C § 1132(a)(3).  The latter provision …

Federal Judge in Baton Rouge, Louisiana Rules for ERISA-Governed Union Pension Fund in Claim Against Individual Who Accepted Payments Not Owed to Her

In a recent decision dated May 25, 2022, Judge Brian A. Jackson of the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Louisiana entered a default judgment in favor of Plaintiff Baton Rouge Sheet Metal Workers’ Union #21 Pension Fund in a suit against a woman who accepted pension funds not owed to her. Judge Jackson is an appointee of …

Judge Oldham Writes Concurring Decision Questioning the Fifth Circuit’s Deferential Standard of Review for ERISA Cases

Published by The Pellegrin Firm November 1, 2021

Judge Oldham argues that the Fifth Circuit has strayed from the Supreme Court’s instructions, and that law, logic, and history cannot square the legislative purposes of ERISA with the Fifth Circuit’s deferential review of benefit determinations (at least those in which the plan gives discretionary authority to the claim administrator).

Massachusetts Judge Finds for Insurance Company in ERISA Case After Widow Sues on Denied Accidental Death Insurance Claim

Published by The Pellegrin Firm February 15, 2021

In a recent decision, a judge of the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts found for an insurer in a lawsuit brought by a widow challenging the denial of an accidental death insurance claim. The plaintiff was an employee of PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, which sponsored the spousal accidental death insurance as an employee benefit.

What Must an ERISA Summary Plan Description Contain?

Published by The Pellegrin Firm October 18, 2020

According to a provision of ERISA, 29 U.S.C. § 1024(b)(1), ERISA plan administrators must provide a summary plan description (“SPD”) to beneficiaries and the SPD must “reasonably apprise [plan] participants and beneficiaries of their rights and obligations under the plan” and must be “written in a manner calculated to be understood by the average plan participant.”

Judge of U.S. Court of Middle District of Louisiana Remands Long-term Disability Case to Insurance Company for Further Review

Published by The Pellegrin Firm September 15, 2020

In a recent case out of the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Louisiana, Judge John W. deGravelles remanded a case to Hartford Life & Accident Insurance Company to reconsider its termination of a truck driver’s long-term disability benefits. Hartford paid two years of benefits, finding the plaintiff could not return to his old job considering the severity of his back condition. However, Hartford terminated benefits after two years, because the policy states that benefits are only payable after two years if the claimant cannot perform the substantial duties of any occupation.