Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation Blog

The View from Proskauer on Developments in the World of Employee Benefits, Executive Compensation & ERISA Litigation

Tulio Chirinos

Tulio Chirinos

Associate

Tulio D. Chirinos is an associate in the Labor & Employment Law Department, and a member of the Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation Group.

Tulio works on a wide variety of employment law and benefit matters, including Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, the Fair Labor Standards Act, ERISA breach of fiduciary duty claims, and ERISA benefits claims. He was also a contributing author to Chapter 21 and Chapter 34 of the fifth edition of BNA’s ERISA Litigation treatise, published in 2014. Prior to joining Proskauer, Tulio clerked for the Federal Public Defender’s office for the Middle District of Florida. Before attending law school, Tulio was an officer in the Army National Guard, where he served two tours of duty in Iraq. He is currently a Major in the Mississippi National Guard.

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Fourth Circuit Concludes That State Law Claims For Life Insurance Benefits Are Preempted

The Fourth Circuit recently concluded that a Sears employee’s state law claims seeking money damages based on denial of insurance benefits (for failure to submit evidence of insurability questionnaire) was preempted by ERISA.  The Court explained that resolution of the state law claims required examining the plan to determine Sears’ obligations as plan administrator and making … Continue Reading

Fidelity Prevails In ERISA Float Litigation

The First Circuit joined the Eighth Circuit in finding that Fidelity’s practice of earning overnight “float” interest on the cash paid out to 401(k) participants redeeming shares in mutual funds did not violate ERISA’s duty of loyalty or prohibition on self-dealing.  In so holding, the Court observed that under the terms of the trust agreements … Continue Reading

District Court Allows ERISA Section 510 Retaliation Claim to Proceed

A federal district court in Pennsylvania concluded that Irene Najmola, a former employee of Chester County Hospital, sufficiently pled a retaliation claim under ERISA section 510 by alleging that her employment was terminated shortly after returning from short-term disability leave.  In so ruling, the court determined that Najmola sufficiently pled that defendant had the specific … Continue Reading

Plan Sponsors’ Decision to Change Form of Employer Contributions Not A Fiduciary Function

The Second Circuit recently held that Morgan Stanley and others were not de facto ERISA fiduciaries by virtue of having authority and means to fund company contributions with stock rather than cash. In so ruling, the Court explained that at the time of the decision to fund contributions with company stock, the stock was not … Continue Reading

Ohio Court of Appeals Upholds Constructive Trust in Favor of Unnamed Beneficiaries

The Ohio Court of Appeals imposed a constructive trust over the proceeds of an ERISA governed life insurance policy for the benefit of the decedent’s children even though the children were not named beneficiaries of the policy. Crites v. Anthem Life Ins. Co., 2014-Ohio-1682 (Ohio Ct. App. 2014). Keith Crites, the decedent, had a life … Continue Reading

Don’t Waive Privilege: Exclude Unnecessary Service Providers From Meetings

A recent opinion from a federal district court in Massachusetts provides plan sponsors and fiduciaries with a reminder that plan service providers should be excused from meetings where their attendance is not needed to assist in the provision of legal advice. If they are not, whatever attorney-client privilege that may have protected the confidentiality of … Continue Reading

District Court Relies on Recent Supreme Court Decision to Uphold Plan Limitations Provision

A federal district court in New Jersey granted summary judgment in favor of New Jersey Bac Health Fund, finding the limitations provision set forth in the Fund’s SPD to be reasonable. Barriero v. NJ Bac Health Fund, 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 181277 (D.N.J. Dec. 27, 2013). Under the welfare plan limitations provision, participants seeking to … Continue Reading

Federal District Court (In Its Capacity As An Employer) Must Reimburse Employee for the Cost of Health Benefits for her Same-Sex Domestic Partner

The Ninth Circuit Judicial Council, an administrative body that reviews decisions of the court’s chief judge, recently weighed in on an issue involving same-sex domestic partner health benefits in the post-Windsor world.  The decision is interesting insofar as it relies at least partially on the Windsor decision in awarding “spousal” benefits to an unmarried same-sex … Continue Reading

“Plan Administrator” vs “Claims Administrator” – Who is the Proper Defendant in ERISA Claim for Benefits?

The issue of who may be a proper defendant in an ERISA claim for benefits has not received consistent treatment in the courts. On the one hand, a federal district court in Minnesota recently concluded that a third party administrator was a proper defendant in a lawsuit seeking benefits on the grounds that Section 502(a)(1)(B), … Continue Reading
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