A federal district court denied class certification to health plan participants who claimed the plan promised them lifetime benefits. The court found too many individualized questions about what the plan told each participant, and the claims could not be resolved on a class-wide basis. Fitzwater, et al. v. Consol Energy, Inc., et al., No. 2:16-cv-09849 and 1:17-cv-03861 (S.D.W.Va., October 15, 2019).
As presidential hopefuls bemoan the high cost of healthcare, McDermott’s Ted Becker imagines a stack of lawsuits pushed toward corporations and insurance companies. If workers can use the Employee Retirement Income Security Act to challenge 401(k) plans’ fees and investments, why can’t they use it to sue over how their health insurance plans are managed?
In a Q&A recently published on Law360, Becker discusses his prediction that health and welfare plan management suits will be the next frontier for ERISA plaintiffs, and how McDermott is preparing clients.
What to expect in 2019 and how to prepare now. Join McDermott lawyers Judith Wethall, Ted Becker and Rick Pearl for an interactive discussion regarding ERISA litigation trends.
Join our lively 45-minute discussion while we tackle the following items:
- Plaintiffs’ law firm’s solicitations
- Health & Welfare Fee Litigation
- Defined-Benefit Plan Litigation – Actuarial Equivalence lawsuits and greater concern about discretionary decisions
- Stock-Drop Cases – The Jander decision: Relaxing the Dudenhoeffer standard and the potential impact of a stock market decline
- 401k/403b – Fee/investment update
- ESOP transactions – New DOL and plaintiffs’ counsel’s theories
Friday, January 11, 2019
10:00 – 10:45 am PST
11:00 – 11:45 am MST
12:00 – 12:45 pm CST
1:00 – 1:45 pm EST
Two pending federal cases could reveal situations in which employers with a significant multi-lingual workforce should provide translated versions of their COBRA election materials.
Recently, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a number of significant ERISA cases. In its 2013-14 term, the Supreme Court decided two ERISA-based appeals – Fifth Third Bancorp v. Dudenhoeffer and Heimeshoff v. Hartford Life & Acc. Ins. Co. In the current 2014-15 term, the Supreme Court already issued one ERISA decision in M&G Polymers USA, LLC v. Tackett, and will issue another ERISA decision soon in Tibble v. Edison Int’l. Although these four cases have received much attention within the ERISA community, each year there are hundreds of other decisions issued by federal appellate and district courts that also impact a plan sponsor’s daily administration of welfare and retirement plans. In fact, many of these district court and appellate decisions are interpreting issues raised or addressed in these Supreme Court opinions. This article will address a few of these cases, which may not have received a lot of attention by the press, but could have long-lasting impacts on plan administration and litigation in future years.