With Discretionary Language Even Barred in Self-Funded ERISA Plans, is This the Death of The Abuse of Discretion Standard of Review In California?

Posted in: Abuse of Discretion, De Novo Review, Disability Insurance News, ERISA, Standard of Review October 12, 2015

Recently, we explained that District Courts within the state of California, applying California Insurance Code section 10110.6, ruled that, even if an insurance Plan contains language giving discretion to a claim administrator, that language is unenforceable, and de novo is …

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ERISA Disability Insurance Claimants Take Note – Discovery Is Allowed In De Novo Review Cases

Posted in: Abuse of Discretion, De Novo Review, Disability Insurance News, ERISA, Standard of Review September 14, 2015

Well-intentioned policymakers enacted the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (“ERISA”) over forty years ago to provide for the protection of participants’ employee benefits in part by establishing a uniform set of rules to ensure efficient proceedings.  One of …

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ERISA Insurers’ Conclusory Medical Opinions Regarding Disability Status Will Not Carry the Day

Posted in: Case Updates, De Novo Review, Disability Insurance, Disability Insurance News, ERISA, Insurance Litigation Blog August 20, 2015

An individual suffering from a disabling condition undoubtedly has many concerns. In addition to dealing with physical pain and emotional distress, there is always the thought of how to pay for medical bills and living expenses if the disability prevents …

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Insurers Do Not Have Discretionary Authority, Absent Clear Language in Official Plan Documents

Posted in: Abuse of Discretion, Administrative Record, Case Updates, De Novo Review, Disability Insurance, Disability Insurance News, ERISA, Insurance Litigation Blog, Insurance Questions and Concepts, Policy Interpretation, Standard of Review April 30, 2015

In actions brought under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (“ERISA”), two roads diverge in federal court—and the court’s choice regarding the applicable standard of review can make all the difference in the scope of permissible evidence.  If …

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In ERISA Cases, The Standard of Review Really Does Matter

Posted in: Abuse of Discretion, De Novo Review, Disability Insurance, Disability Insurance News, ERISA, Insurance Litigation Blog, Standard of Review December 06, 2010

The Thursday December 1, 2010 edition of the Los Angeles Daily Journal featured the article co-written by Robert J. McKennon and M. Scott Koller, entitled “In ERISA Cases, The Standard of Review Really Does Matter,” in the Perspective column. It explains why it is important to identify …

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ERISA Claimant Retains Burden of Proof For Establishing Disability Under a De Novo Standard of Review

Posted in: Abuse of Discretion, Case Updates, De Novo Review, Disability Insurance, Disability Insurance News, ERISA, Insurance Litigation Blog November 01, 2010

The question of who has the burden of proof can often decide the outcome of litigation.  Given its importance, it is common to see litigants attempt to shift that burden to the opposing side in order to secure a tactical …

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Under ERISA , Procedural Deficiencies Not Considered When the Standard of Review is De Novo

Posted in: Abuse of Discretion, Case Updates, De Novo Review, Disability Insurance, Disability Insurance News, ERISA, Insurance Litigation Blog October 28, 2010

De Novo Review

Litigation pursuant to the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (“ERISA”) is rather unique.  Unlike most cases, ERISA disputes are based on a limited scope of permissible evidence.  The range of that scope is ultimately dependent on which standard of review …

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