The Supreme Court of the United States’ recent ruling in Montanile v. Board of Trustees of the National Elevator Industry Health Benefit Plan holds that an ERISA plan cannot enforce an equitable lien against a participant’s general assets when the full amount of the settlement is spent on non-traceable items. This decision should encourage plan fiduciaries to take action on reimbursement and subrogation rights more quickly after learning of a third-party recovery, in order to preserve their right to assert an equitable remedy against an identifiable, traceable fund.

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