Harris v. Lincoln Nat’l Life Ins. Co., No. 21-13186, __ F.4th __, 2022 WL 3009199 (11th Cir. July 29, 2022) (Before Circuit Judges Jordan and Rosenbaum, and District Judge John Steele).

ERISA is very specific about some things, but on others it is famously vague. For example, ERISA says that plan participants are allowed to bring a civil action for benefits, but it doesn’t give much guidance as to how the courts should handle those actions. Are they handled the same way as other civil cases under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure? Do claimants have the right to a jury? What standard of review should the courts use?  Continue Reading Eleventh Circuit Holds That De Novo Review Requires Courts to Consider All Relevant Evidence, Regardless of Whether It Was Submitted to a Claim Administrator

Williams v. Wright, No. CV BPG-21-2076, 2022 WL 2818949 (D. Md. July 19, 2022) (Magistrate Judge Beth P. Gesner).

This decision involves the third of three related lawsuits between certain members of the wealthy duPont family and their household employees regarding the employees’ entitlement to retirement benefits. To properly understand this suit under ERISA’s anti-retaliation provision, you have to go back to the first suit and its history, which actually begins in 1947. Continue Reading Plan Participant States a Claim That She Was Sued for Seeking Plan Benefits

Plaintiffs prevailed in this week’s two notable decisions, but not entirely. In the first decision, the Sixth Circuit allowed a portion of a pension case alleging excessive investment fees to proceed. In the second case, the Fourth Circuit addressed welfare plan vesting and found, under the highly unusual circumstances of the case, some retirees could proceed with their claim for life insurance benefits.  Continue Reading Sorry ABBA, No Winner Takes It All In These Two Cases of the Week