There were many long decisions issued this week and quite a few are only marginally interesting. But, dear ERISA Watchers, we read and summarize them so you don’t have to.

Below is a summary of this past week’s notable ERISA decisions by subject matter and jurisdiction.

Attorneys’ Fees

Eighth Circuit

Yates v. Symetra Life Ins. Co., No. 4:19-CV-154-RLW, 2022 WL 1618787 (E.D. Mo. May 23, 2022) (Judge Ronnie L. White). On January 3rd of this year, the court granted plaintiff Terri Yates’s motion to alter judgment, reversed its earlier opinion that she had failed to exhaust administrative remedies, and awarded her accidental death benefits concluding that her husband’s death from a heroin overdose was an unforeseen outcome his heroin use and not an intentional self-inflicted injury.

Continue Reading Your ERISA Watch – Week of June 1, 2022

No case of the week this week, but keep reading to stay abreast of the latest ERISA developments.

Below is a summary of this past week’s notable ERISA decisions by subject matter and jurisdiction.

Attorneys’ Fees

Third Circuit

Kairys v. S. Pines Trucking, Inc., No. 2:19-cv-1031-NR, 2022 WL 1457786 (W.D. Pa. May 9, 2022) (Judge J. Nicholas Ranjan). Having succeeded on the merits with his statutory wage and ERISA claims, plaintiff Thomas Kairys moved for attorneys’ fees and costs. Defendant Southern Pines Trucking agreed that an award of fees and costs was appropriate but objected to the amount of both the attorneys’ fees and the costs requested, arguing they were excessive. Although the hourly rates were not specified in the decision, the court found “the rates Mr. Kairys’ counsel charged are well-supported and reflective of the market rate.” Accordingly, the court overruled defendant’s request to reduce the hourly rates. The court also articulated that the billing entries were appropriately detailed.
Continue Reading Your ERISA Watch – Week of May 18, 2022

Spring break continues with another slow week ERISA-wise in the courts. But go on an Easter egg hunt for one case that decides that speeding is not a crime, another that allows a claim based on the Takings Clause of the Fifth Amendment to go forward against the government for statutory amendments to ERISA, and other interesting decisions below.


Continue Reading Your ERISA Watch – Week of April 13, 2022