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Brookings Hall at Washington University in St. Louis
Jun 9, 2020

Court revives ERISA suit against Washington University

A federal appeals court has revived part a suit in which employees of Washington University in St. Louis alleged the university mismanaged their retirement savings plan.

Apr 10, 2020

Civil Practice: ERISA-Religious Exemption-Jurisdiction

Where a nurse challenged the ERISA plan of her religiously affiliated hospital employer as underfunded and in violation of the law, and the district court dismissed the case for lack of jurisdiction, the appellate court holds that whether a plan is an ERISA plan is an element of the plaintiff’s case and not a jurisdictional […]

Apr 6, 2020

Civil Practice: Standing-Injury in Fact-ERISA

Where appellants filed an action under the Employee  Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 claiming that an insurer abused its discretion by partially denying their claim for air ambulance benefits under an employee health plan, the injury-in-fact component of standing was satisfied, and the appellants also had statutory standing to bring an action to recover […]

Apr 6, 2020

Civil Practice: ERISA-Duty of Prudence-Sufficiency of Allegations

Where plaintiffs in an ERISA action failed to plead a plausible breach of prudence by the trustee defendants, the district court properly dismissed the plaintiffs’ duty-to-monitor claims because the claims could not survive without a sufficiently pleaded theory of an underlying breach. Judgment is affirmed. Vigeant v. Meek (MLW No. 74742/Case No. 18-3616 – 12 […]

Feb 14, 2020

Civil Practice: ERISA-Collective Bargaining Agreements-Costs

Where trustees of three employee benefit funds sued a corporation, its affiliates and an owner in a dispute regarding alleged breaches of the collective bargaining agreements, the trustees did not show that the affiliates served as the corporation’s alter ego or that a joint venture or joint enterprise was entered, and the unions did not […]

Feb 7, 2020

Civil Practice: Fiduciary-ERISA

Where plaintiff, who invested in an ERISA plan, argued that a service provider to the plan violated ERISA, the district court erred in finding that the provider was not a fiduciary when it set the composite crediting rate, so the judgment is reversed. Judgment is reversed. Rozo v. Principal Life Insurance Company (MLW No. 74481/Case […]

Feb 7, 2020

Civil Practice: Class Action-Settlement Agreement-ERISA

Where in an ERISA class action an objector challenged the certification of a settlement class and the approval of the settlement agreement, the plaintiffs had standing to bring the class action, and the district court did not abuse its discretion in certifying the class because it was brought on behalf of the plan and requested […]

Jan 3, 2020

Insurance: ERISA-Denial of Benefits-Discretionary Power

Plaintiff appealed from the adverse grant of summary judgment in her ERISA claim arising from the denial of benefits. Where the plan reserved discretionary power to construe terms or make eligibility determinations, the district court properly granted summary judgment to defendant where there was no abuse of discretion. Judgment is affirmed. Presi v. Ascension Health […]

Dec 20, 2019

Administrative: ERISA-Termination of Benefits-Disabling Physical Condition

Where a claimant of long-term disability benefits under a plan governed by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act challenged the termination of benefits, the district court did not err in finding that substantial evidence supported the decision to terminate based on the exhaustion of mental illness benefits and the lack of a disability physical condition. […]

Dec 17, 2019

Administrative: ERISA-Exhaustion of Remedies-Fiduciary Duty

Where a claimant challenged the termination of her disability benefits, the judgment is affirmed because the claimant failed to administratively exhaust her claim of breach of fiduciary duty. Judgment is affirmed. Jones v. Aetna Life Insurance Company (MLW No. 74242/Case No. 18-1851 – 4 pages) (U.S. Court of Appeals, 8th Circuit, Benton, J.) Appealed from […]

Sep 18, 2019

Insurance: ERISA-Payment of Benefits to Domestic Partner-Deference to Plan Administrators

Defendants appealed from the declaratory judgment that ruled that defendants paid group life-insurance benefits to the wrong person. Terry Engle died in a car crash while holding accidental death and life-insurance policies with defendants. Defendants contacted Terry’s mother, who informed defendants that Terry lived with a domestic partner; defendants interpreted the plans to consider a [&helli[...]

Sep 6, 2019

Administrative: ERISA-Life Insurance-Optional Benefits Program

Where an insurer and employer challenged an award of benefits, costs and attorney fees in an action brought under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, the employee was enrolled in an optional life insurance benefit program after falsely certifying in a form that he had not been diagnosed or treated for high blood pressure, and […]

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