Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation Blog

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

Benjamin Flaxenburg

Associate

Benjamin O. Flaxenburg is an associate in the Labor & Employment Law Department and a member of the Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation Group.

Prior to joining Proskauer, Ben served as an extern for the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Louisiana and as a judicial extern to the Honorable Nannette Jolivette Brown at the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana. Ben was also a managing editor of the Tulane Maritime Law Journal, a member of the Tulane’s Moot Court Board and a member of Tulane’s Alternative Dispute Resolution Moot Court Team.

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ERISA’s Duty To Inform – Distinguishing Between Existing and Possible Benefits

A recent ERISA opinion gives us occasion to point out the important distinction under ERISA concerning fiduciary duties as they pertain to existing benefits and possible benefits.  In this case, the plaintiff alleged that defendants misrepresented to her that her retirement benefit plan would not change or would only change to her advantage after the … Continue Reading

Plan Participant Waived Remedy for Untimely Benefits Determination

The Seventh Circuit rejected a disability plan participant’s argument that an untimely decision denying his claim for long-term disability benefits warranted changing the standard of review from arbitrary and capricious to de novo.  In so ruling, the Court explained that had plaintiff filed suit once the time for a timely decision had passed (because his … Continue Reading

Tackett Redux: Ordinary Principles of Contract Interpretation Mean No Inference of Vesting

In an opinion released yesterday, the Supreme Court reaffirmed that collective bargaining agreements (CBAs) must be interpreted according to “ordinary principles of contract law.” CNH Industrial N.V. v. Reese, No. 17-515, 2018 WL 942419 (U.S. Feb. 20, 2018).  In so ruling, the Court again rejected the Sixth Circuit’s inference from silence that CBAs vested retiree … Continue Reading

Fifth Circuit Borrows One-Year Statute of Limitations for Section 502(c)(1) Claim

The Fifth Circuit held that the statute of limitations for an ERISA § 502(c)(1) claim—a claim for penalties for failure to provide certain documents within thirty days of a written request—was subject to a one-year statute of limitations.  In so holding, the Court borrowed the statute of limitations from the Louisiana Civil Code for claims alleging … Continue Reading

Ninth Circuit Considers Pre-Appeal Conduct in Plan’s Request for Appellate Attorney’s Fees

The Ninth Circuit ruled that a district court erred by failing to consider the entire course of the litigation when analyzing a request for attorney’s fees under ERISA and remanded the case for a calculation of fees. A plan participant filed suit against a plan and insurer seeking disability benefits. The plan, in turn, filed a cross-claim against … Continue Reading
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