Monthly Archives: April 2010

The Supreme Court Strongly Endorses Deference to ERISA Administrators

“People make mistakes.”  Says the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.  He’s not talking about himself, but about ERISA plan administrators. The case of Conkright v. Frommer sees Chief Justice Roberts singing the praises of employee benefit plans that give deference to their administrators to interpret plan provisions, coverage, and other issues.  In this case, a...
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The Supreme Court Will Decide Whether The Cat’s Paw Theory has Legs

Yesterday the Supreme Court agreed to decide a case involving the “cat’s paw” theory of discrimination.  The case will be argued and decided next term, so Justice Stevens’ replacement should be on board by then (barring a major Senate gridlock).  This theory of discrimination allows a plaintiff to show that, even though the decision maker...
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Supreme Court Will Decide Availability of Attorney’s Fees in Disability Cases

The Supreme Court will decide a case centering on the award of attorney’s fees in a long-term disability appeal.  The Fourth Circuit, which hears appeals from federal courts in Maryland, decided that the successful claimant could not obtain attorneys’ fees from the insurance company.  While the case will focus on a narrow provision of one...
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