Statute of Limitations

This week’s notable decision is a firm victory in Poisson v. Aetna Life Ins. Co., No. 8:20-cv-01030-JVS-DFM (C.D. Cal. Sept. 21, 2020). In 2011, claimant Jones suffered severe trauma to his head and face from a motorcycle accident. The trauma resulted in serious, permanent brain damage. Despite claimant returning to work—staying employed for almost three years—he was never able to resume the job responsibilities that he had prior to the accident. In March 2014, he was terminated and made a long-term disability claim. 

Aetna denied the claim and Jones made several attempts to appeal, none of which were effective, perhaps because a psychological examination determined he “was not competent to manage funds on his own behalf and would require 24-hour care and supervision for the rest of his life.” 
Continue Reading District Court Equitably Tolls Limitations Period in ERISA Lawsuit for Disability Benefits Based on Mental Incompetence

Good morning, ERISA Watchers!  Just moments after last week’s newsletter went out, the U.S. Supreme Court handed down its 9-0 decision in Intel Corp. Inv. Policy Comm. v. Sulyma, No. 18-1116, __S.Ct.__, 2020 WL 908881 (U.S. Feb. 26, 2020), a case involving allegations of imprudent investment of retirement plan assets.  The court held that to meet the “actual knowledge” requirement to trigger ERISA’s three-year limitations period, a plaintiff must have become aware of the information; actual knowledge does not exist where a plaintiff receives disclosures with the information but does not read them or cannot recall reading them.  The decision comes as no surprise where at the oral argument Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg (my Shero) stated, “I must say, I don’t read all the mailings that I get about my investments.”  The decision makes perfect sense.  I mean, it’s 4 a.m., do you know what your investments are up to?
Continue Reading District Court Reduces Class Counsel Common Fund Fee Award Due to Attorney Misconduct

Good morning, ERISA Watchers!  Last week was quite a busy week.  I spent four days in Spokane, Washington attending the Ninth Circuit Judicial Conference (and met Associate Justice Elena Kagan to boot!).  Despite the flurry of activity, I continued to review all the recent ERISA decisions so that Your ERISA Watch wouldn’t miss a beat. The mid-week notable decision was from the Fourth Circuit.  (Read about it here if you missed it.).  Today’s notable decision is from the Fifth Circuit in Faciane v. Sun Life Assurance Co. of Canada, No. 18-30918, __F.3d__, 2019 WL 3334654 (5th Cir. July 25, 2019), where the court addresses the accrual of a limitations period applicable to a disability benefit miscalculation claim.  
Continue Reading Fifth Circuit Finds Limitations Period for Miscalculation Claim Began to Accrue Upon Notice of Benefit Calculation