FIDUCIARY/PENSIONS ALERT: Retirement Plan Participants Free to Sue Third Party Insurers
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FIDUCIARY/PENSIONS ALERT: Retirement Plan Participants Free to Sue Third Party Insurers

Ninth Circuit - California - June 22, 2011. In a move that will undo at least four other employee benefits cases in the circuit and could have far-reaching implications, the Ninth Circuit ruled that ERISA does not specifically limit which parties can be sued by employees to recover benefits under their benefits plan.  Since a plan administrator can potentially have no authority to resolve benefit claims or even pay them, the court reasoned that the logical defendant to sue to recover benefits would be the party with that power-the carrier.  This decision could open the door for similar claims against insurers where they have previously been shielded from such claims.

 

80LAURA A.CYR.pdf