Expanding Equitable Remedies in ERISA Cases

Posted in: News, News Blog January 09, 2015

The January 8, 2015 edition of the Los Angeles Daily Journal featured Robert McKennon and Scott Calvert’s article entitled:  “Expanding Equitable Remedies in ERISA Cases.”   In it, Mr. McKennon and Mr. Calvert discuss a new case, Gabriel v. Alaska Electrical Pension Fund, 2014 DJDAR 16590 (9th Cir. 2014), which discusses equitable remedies in ERISA cases and in particular how the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has joined other circuits in allowing various equitable remedies, most especially the surcharge remedy which may allow ERISA claimants to obtain monetary relief.

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Nine consumer protection bills sponsored by insurance commissioner signed into law in 2014

Posted in: Insurance Commissioner, Legislation, News January 08, 2015

Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones announced that during the 2014 legislative session that Governor Jerry Brown signed nine bills sponsored by the California Department of Insurance (“CDI”).  A bill that adds protections for small businesses that took effect in 2014 and five other consumer protection bills that were implemented January 1, 2015.   Here is a list of them (taken from a CDI bulletin):

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Robert J. McKennon Invited to Host MCLE Event for OCBA

Posted in: News August 08, 2014

McKennon Law Group PC founding partner Robert J. McKennon will speak on an MCLE panel for the Orange County Bar Association Insurance Law Section on August 27, 2014 discussing “Recent Developments and Interesting Issues in Life Insurance Law.”  Mr. McKennon, an attorney who currently represents insurance claimants after over two decades representing insurers, and Laura K. Kim, an attorney who currently represents insurance companies, agents and brokers in insurance litigation will provide information to help litigators assess the issues associated with life insurance litigation to ensure that counsel for both parties are able to properly represent their clients.  The MCLE event is scheduled to take place at the OCBA headquarters from 12:00 PM – 1:30 PM and registered attendees will receive 1.0 hour of MCLE credits

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New California Law Requires that Short-Term Disability Policies Provide Coverage for Severe Mental Illness

Posted in: Disability Insurance, Legislation, News August 05, 2014

In a victory for insurance consumers and mental health advocates, a recent change to the California Insurance Code mandates that short-term disability insurance policies provide coverage for “severe mental illnesses” as that term is defined in the Insurance Code. Passed in 2013, and signed in to law by Governor Jerry Brown on October 4, 2013, Assembly Bill No. 402 (“AB 402”) added Section 10144.55 to the Insurance Code, effective July 1, 2014.  Section 10144.55 requires that every disability insurance policy with “a short-term limited duration of two years or less,” provide coverage for disabilities caused by severe mental illnesses.  Section 10144.55(b) defines “severe mental illnesses” as schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, bipolar disorder (manic-depressive illness), major depressive disorders (including postpartum depression), panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), pervasive developmental disorder (autism), anorexia nervosa or bulimia nervosa.

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The Number of Disabled Employees Increase as More Employers Drop Long-Term Disability Coverage

Posted in: Disability Insurance, Legal Articles, News, Social Security Administration August 05, 2014

A disturbing trend that has developed across the country in recent years is that, while the number of workers/employees suffering from long-term illnesses or injuries has increased, the number of employers who provide long-term disability insurance has dropped dramatically.  As of May 2014, the total number of Social Security disability beneficiaries in the United States hit an all-time high of about 11 million beneficiaries.  However, fewer employees are covered with long term disability coverage.  The number of U.S. workers with long-term disability coverage decreased 6% from 2009-2013.  Below are just a few of the worrying statistics.  From 2009-2013 nationwide: The number of employers offering long-term disability coverage decreased from 220,000 to 213,000; The number of employees who have long-term disability coverage decreased from 34 million to 32.1 million (6% decline); but, The number of employees in the U.S. workforce has increased by 6.6 million. More and more employers are opting to drop their standard disability insurance plans for optional employee-paid plans.  Additionally, more companies are implementing “defined benefit plans,” which allocate a certain amount of funds for each worker to use for all insurance coverage.  This often has the effect of forcing workers to forgo some types of coverage, such as…

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Policyholder Wins Handed Down in Insurance Decisions. Daily Journal Publishes McKennon Law Group PC Article.

Posted in: Breach of Contract, Case Updates, Disability Insurance, Duty to Defend, Duty to Settle, ERISA, Insurance Bad Faith, News, Unfair Business Practices/Unfair Competition February 12, 2014

The February 10, 2014 edition of the Los Angeles Daily Journal featured Robert McKennon’s article entitled:  “Policyholder Wins Handed Down in Insurance Decisions.”  In it, Mr. McKennon discusses six insurance decisions handed down in California and federal courts in 2013 that were favorable to policyholders.  

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Equitable remedies gain favor in ERISA cases

Posted in: ERISA, News November 22, 2013

The November 21, 2013 edition of the Los Angeles Daily Journal featured Robert McKennon’s article entitled:  “Equitable remedies gain favor in ERISA cases.”  In it, Mr. McKennon discusses a significant development in the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) in the last couple of years.  This significant development is due to the 2011 U.S. Supreme Court decision in Cigna Corp. v. Amara, 131 S. Ct. 1866 (2011).  In that case, the Supreme Court indicated a shift away from the federal courts aversion to the granting of equitable remedies in ERISA cases, especially equitable estoppel.  The Seventh and Fourth Circuit Courts have started a trend in applying equitable estoppel claims by both plan participants and beneficiaries.  The article is posted here with the permission of the Daily Journal.  

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In MLG Case, the San Francisco Superior Court Rules that Plaintiff Therabotanics May Pursue Claims Against Sephora and Solazyme For Interference With Contract and Unfair Competition

Posted in: Legal Articles, News February 21, 2013

McKennon Law Group recently filed a case on behalf of Therabotanics, LLC, a subsidiary of Ideal Living, for breach of contract, unfair competition, misappropriation of trade secrets, harmful interference with contract, and conversion of assets against Sephora, USA, Inc. and Solazyme, Inc.  Therabotanics and Solazyme had entered into an exclusive agreement for a joint venture to sell a line of algae-based skin care products through a television infomercial.  The exclusive agreement contained a carve-out that allowed Solazyme to sell a “premium” product with other distributors, but at a higher price and under a specific name.

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McKennon Law Group Wins Disability Insurance Lawsuit Against Sun Life And Health Insurance Company Following Trial

Posted in: Abuse of Discretion, Conflict of Interest, Disability Insurance, ERISA, News, Standard of Review December 11, 2012

On November 27, 2012, following a trial before Judge Cormac J. Carney of the United States Federal District Court for the Central District of California, Robert J. McKennon and Scott E. Calvert of the McKennon Law Group secured a victory for their client in a lawsuit against Sun Life and Health Insurance Company.  Representing the claimant, Mr. Evans, the McKennon Law Group convinced the District Court that Sun Life abused its discretion in denying Mr. Evans’ claim for long-term disability benefits and that Mr. Evans is entitled to receive his disability benefits that Sun Life denied him.

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McKennon Law Group Founding Partner Robert McKennon Featured in January 2012 Issue of Forbes Magazine

Posted in: Disability Insurance, Health Insurance, Life Insurance, News, Super Lawyer February 09, 2012

Los Angeles – Noted Southern California insurance and business litigator Robert J. McKennon was featured in the “Southern California Legal Profiles” section of the January 2012 issue of Forbes Magazine in an article highlighting his experience as a top Southern California insurance and business litigation attorney.

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