Daily Archives: December 26, 2017

Cohorst v. Anthem: When Does Waiver Apply under ERISA?

Posted in: Disability Insurance News, ERISA, Insurance Litigation Blog, Insurance Questions and Concepts, Policy Interpretation December 26, 2017

The Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, or ERISA, governs most employer-sponsored benefit plans.  ERISA establishes protections for employees in the administration of their employer-sponsored benefits, requiring that the administrator adhere to certain requirements when determining a plan participant’s eligibility for benefits.  In ERISA cases, typically the plan’s terms govern.  However, ERISA does recognize certain “equitable” doctrines for situations not necessarily covered by the terms of the employer-sponsored plan.  One of those equitable doctrines is “waiver,” which the courts have established as the intentional relinquishment of a right under the plan.  In this article, we address Cohorst v. Anthem, No. CV 16-7925-JFW (SKX), 2017 WL 6343592 (C.D. Cal. Dec. 12, 2017), a recent decision from the Central District …

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When the Clock is Ticking: The Interplay of the Contractual Limitations Period and the Statute of Limitations in a Disability Insurance Case

Posted in: Disability Insurance, Disability Insurance News, ERISA, Insurance Litigation Blog, Insurance Questions and Concepts, Policy Interpretation, Statute of Limitations December 26, 2017

The Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, otherwise known as ERISA, governs most employer-sponsored benefit plans, including short and long-term disability benefits, life benefits, accidental death and dismemberment benefits and others.  ERISA was enacted to protect employer-sponsored benefits provided to employees.  As such, ERISA requires that the plan administrator, typically the insurer or employer, adhere to strict standards and deadlines.  However, while ERISA does set strict internal deadlines for the appeals process, it does not specify a time limit to bring a lawsuit for wrongfully denied benefits.  In this article, we discuss the statute of limitations and the contractual limitations periods in ERISA benefits cases and a relatively recent and plaintiff-friendly case decided by District Court judge Michael Fitzgerald …

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