Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation Blog

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

Category Archives: Supreme Court

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U.S. Supreme Court Holds ERISA Plan Cannot Enforce Equitable Lien Against Participant’s General Assets

Earlier today, the U.S. Supreme Court reversed a decision by the Eleventh Circuit and held that when a ERISA plan participant obtains a third-party settlement subject to a plan’s subrogation provision, and then dissipates the settlement on “nontraceable” items, the plan cannot enforce a lien against the participant’s general assets under Section 502(a)(3) of ERISA.  … Continue Reading

U.S. Supreme Court Says “Regular Review” of ERISA Investments Required

ERISA plan fiduciaries charged with responsibility for selecting, monitoring or removing plan investment options should pay close attention to the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent ruling in Tibble v. Edison Intl., 135 S. Ct. 1823 (2015).  In that decision, the Court ruled that ERISA’s duty of prudence involves “a continuing duty to monitor investments and remove … Continue Reading

The U.S. Supreme Court Finds a Constitutional Right to Same-Sex Marriage: Implications for Employee Benefit Plan Sponsors

On June 26, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a historic decision in Obergefell v. Hodges, holding that the Fourteenth Amendment’s Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses require states to allow same-sex marriage and to recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states.  The decision comes exactly two years to the day from the Court’s decision … Continue Reading

King v. Burwell – Supreme Court Upholds Premium Subsidies under Federally-Run Marketplaces; ACA Remains (Mostly) Unfazed

On June 25, 2015, the United States Supreme Court released its much anticipated King v. Burwell decision regarding the validity of premium assistance issued by Federally-run Marketplaces.  Chief Justice Roberts, writing for the 6-3 majority, agreed with the Internal Revenue Service’s (IRS) interpretation that premium assistance under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of … Continue Reading

High Court Employee Benefits Cases: A Review and Look Ahead

Having settled into the new year, we reflect on decisions from the U.S. Supreme Court in 2013 that are likely to have a significant impact in the world of pension and welfare employee benefits and, in some cases, already have had such an impact. The issues addressed by the Supreme Court are wide ranging and … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Affirms Enforceability of Plan Limitations Provision

Resolving a split among the Courts of Appeal, the United States Supreme Court affirmed the Second Circuit in finding enforceable a limitations provision in a long term disability ERISA plan that set forth the length of the limitations period as well as when the period commenced. The plan at issue required participants to file suit for … Continue Reading

USSC to Consider Presumption of Prudence in Employer Stock Litigation

On Friday, the US Supreme Court agreed to consider Fifth Third Bancorp v. Dudenhoeffer (U.S. No. 12-751, cert. granted 12/13/13).  The Supreme Court stated that it will consider the following issue:  “Whether, to state a claim that a fiduciary of an employee stock ownership plan violated the duty of prudence by continuing to invest plan … Continue Reading

Supreme Court to Resolve Circuit Split in Health Care Reform Cases

The Supreme Court will review two of the numerous lawsuits challenging the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) requirement that group health plans and insurers cover, without cost-sharing, contraceptives and/or abortifacients (the “Contraceptive Mandate”). The plaintiffs in these suits are secular, for-profit corporations and their owners, and they assert that being forced to comply with the Contraceptive … Continue Reading

View from Proskauer: The Supreme Court To Opine On The Use Of Contractual Limitation Periods in ERISA Plans

Last year, we reported on how the federal discovery rule – pursuant to which claims for benefits do not accrue until the participant could reasonably have discovered the claim – can require plans to defend the merits of dated claims. In that article, we noted that efforts to protect plans had taken the form of … Continue Reading

The Supreme Court’s Decision to Affirm An Arbitrator’s Decision Compelling Class Arbitration May Be Most Notable For What Was Not Said

ERISA plan sponsors, and employers more broadly, have been anxiously awaiting two rulings from the U.S. Supreme Court that they hope would clarify the ability to enforce class action waivers in arbitration agreements. Yesterday, the Court issued the first of these decisions in Oxford Health Plans LLC v. Sutter, a case in which Sutter alleged … Continue Reading

U.S. Supreme Court Decision on DOMA May Impact Status of Children of Same-Sex Spouses for Employee Benefits Purposes

The Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) defines marriage at the federal level as a legal union between one man and one woman and excuses states from any obligation to recognize same-sex marriages recognized in any other state. As a result, many states have enacted so-called “mini-DOMA” laws providing that those states will not recognize for … Continue Reading

U.S. Supreme Court Agrees To Hear Case On ERISA Statute of Limitations

The U.S. Supreme Court announced on April 15, 2013 that it will take up the question of when the statute of limitations period may begin to run for filing a legal action for long-term disability benefits under an ERISA plan. Heimeshoff v. Hartford Life & Accident Insurance Co., U.S., No. 12-729, cert. granted 4/15/13.… Continue Reading

U.S. Supreme Court Rules That Plan Terms Trump Equitable Defenses

Today, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its ruling in U.S. Airways, Inc. v. McCutchen in which the Court unanimously ruled that a clearly drafted reimbursement clause will trump all equitable defenses. The Supreme Court’s ruling will likely be viewed favorably by plan sponsors, as it will allow them to anticipate with more certainty the impact … Continue Reading
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