Robert McKennon and Stephanie Talavera Publish Article in the Los Angeles Daily Journal: "Ruling Clears Up Attorney Fees in ERISA Cases"

Posted in: Disability Insurance, Employee Benefits News, ERISA, Life Insurance, News, News Blog November 10, 2017

Unlike a state law claim for benefits under an individual insurance policy, an ERISA claim generally limits recovery to benefits due under the plan: prejudgment interest, declaratory or equitable (non-monetary) relief and attorneys’ fees. Accordingly, looming attorneys’ fees serve as …

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The Hartford Agrees to Purchase Aetna's Group Disability Insurance and Group Life Insurance Business

Posted in: Disability Insurance, Disability Insurance News, ERISA, Group Plans, Life Insurance, News Blog November 08, 2017

In a deal between two of the country’s largest disability insurers, The Hartford agreed to purchase Aetna Life Insurance Company’s group life insurance and disability insurance business for $1.45 billion. After the purchase, which is expected to close before the …

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California Court Affirms Decision Finding Bad Faith Where Insurer Interprets Policy Against Insured's Interests

Posted in: Attorneys Fees, Bad Faith, Commercial General Liability Insurance, Duty to Defend, Insurance Bad Faith, Insurance Litigation Blog, Life Insurance, Punitive Damages October 11, 2017

On August 31, 2017, the California Court of Appeal discussed a variety of topics touching upon important matters in insurance “bad faith” litigation in Pulte Home Corp. v. Am. Safety Indemnity Co., 14 Cal.App.5th 1086 (Aug. 31, 2017). In …

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Plan Administrators Cannot Violate their Fiduciary Duties by Failing to Provide Proper Notice of Policy Amendments; ERISA Plan Exclusions/Limits May Not be Enforceable

Posted in: Disability Insurance, Disability Insurance News, ERISA, Group Plans, Health Insurance, Insurance Litigation Blog, News Blog September 28, 2017

Summary Plan Descriptions (“SPD”) under ERISA are required to be given to plan participants, and they provide plan participants with the most important summary of plan terms they need to know regarding their ERISA governed plans.  ERISA requires SPDs to …

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Ninth Circuit Grants a Small Reprieve to the Abuse of Discretion Standard of Review, Ruling That Discretionary Language Provisions in Self-Funded ERISA Will Apply

Posted in: Abuse of Discretion, De Novo Review, Disability Insurance News, ERISA, Insurance Litigation Blog, Standard of Review August 24, 2017

When litigating ERISA-governed short-term disability, long-term disability, life and medical insurance claims, a major consideration is which “standard of review” will apply to the Court’s review of the insurer’s decision – abuse of discretion or de novo.  The de novo …

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Does an Insurance Company Need to Deny a Claim to be Liable for Bad Faith Damages? You May Be Surprised to Learn the Answer is "No."

Posted in: Bad Faith, Disability Insurance News, Insurance Bad Faith, Insurance Litigation Blog, Life Insurance, Premiums, Transamerica, Universal Life Insurance August 09, 2017

Every insurance contract is accompanied by an implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing, meaning that the insurer cannot “unfairly frustrate” or unreasonably “deprive” the insured of the benefits of the insurance contract. This implied covenant applies to all …

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