On July 21, 2014, the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri’s decision in Kutten v. Sun Life Assurance Co. of Canada. Marc Kutten had sued Sun Life in U.S. District court alleging that Sun Life had improperly denied him Long Term Disability benefits under an ERISA governed group disability plan. The District Court granted summary judgment for Kutten and denied summary judgment for Sun Life. The Eighth Circuit determined that the District Court had erred in granting Kutten’s motion for summary judgment in interpreting the meaning of medical treatment under the […]
Are You Entitled to Disgorgement of Profits When Your Insurance Company Improperly Denies You Long-Term Disability Benefits?
The United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit recently examined whether or not a claimant who is arbitrarily and capriciously denied ERISA disability benefits is later entitled to an equitable accounting of the disability insurer’s profits and disgorgement of those same profits. Focusing on the portion of the decision that examined the relief available under ERISA, the Sixth Circuit found the plaintiff/claimant was entitled to recover benefits due to him and disgorgement of the Life Insurance Company of North America’s (LINA) profits resulting from the denial of benefits. The Sixth Circuit began their examination of relief available under […]
Do you know if you can bring a Bad Faith claim against an insurer with an ERISA governed disability insurance policy? As of September 2004, the answer to this question is: No. Chief Judge Anthony Scirica, writing for the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit last fall, in Barber v. UNUM, ended years of judicial debate about whether ERISA preempted Pennsylvania’s Bad Faith Statute under it’s broadly interpreted preemption clause. The Court held that Bad Faith is preempted under ERISA, under both the doctrine of conflict preemption and under express preemption. This decision effectively put to rest […]