Benefits

  • July 30, 2021

    Anthem Sued Over Alleged Refusal To Cover Spinal Device

    A patient has argued in a proposed class action in California federal court that Anthem Inc. abandoned its duties under ERISA by refusing to cover a device that treats degenerative spinal conditions.

  • July 30, 2021

    House Dems Revive Push To Ban Workplace Arbitration

    House Democrats have reintroduced the Restoring Justice For Workers Act, which would ban mandatory arbitration clauses that prevent workers from bringing employment bias, pay and other claims in court.

  • July 30, 2021

    UnitedHealth Rule Rewrite Evinces Shift In Mental Health Care

    A UnitedHealth Group unit is almost two years into a court-ordered process of altering how it approaches mental health and substance abuse care, and attorneys say it likely won't be the only insurer facing a reckoning amid a national sea change on support for such treatment.

  • July 30, 2021

    11th Circ. Says VA Benefits Law Doesn't Nix Negligence Claim

    The Eleventh Circuit partly revived a veteran's allegations that Georgia doctors failed to properly diagnose and treat his throat cancer, holding that the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs can't duck medical negligence claims under a law protecting its benefits decisions from court review.

  • July 30, 2021

    BCBS Patient Seeks Pretrial Win On Cancer Coverage Suit

    A Texas man is seeking a pretrial win in a suit alleging Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina improperly classifies an effective, common and well-regarded cancer treatment as experimental, saying the company can't defend its argument that proton beam radiation therapy isn't medically necessary for prostate cancer patients.

  • July 29, 2021

    Purdue Pharma Gets OK For $22M Worker Bonus Program

    A New York bankruptcy judge Thursday gave Purdue Pharma the go-ahead to pay up to $22.1 million in retention bonuses to midlevel workers, rejecting calls to delay the decision until after next month's Chapter 11 plan confirmation hearing.

  • July 29, 2021

    Full 9th Circ. Won't Hear Challenge To Wash. Sick Leave Law

    The Ninth Circuit on Thursday declined to reconsider a ruling allowing Washington state to enforce its sick leave law against airlines, rejecting an air industry lobbying group's last-ditch effort to get the court to find that federal law trumped the state statute.

  • July 29, 2021

    Senate Panel OKs Antitrust Package Aimed At Drug Pricing

    The U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee passed a slew of bills Thursday that would increase the Federal Trade Commission's ability to crack down on a variety of anti-competitive practices that lawmakers say have driven up drug prices for years, sending the legislation to the floor for a vote.

  • July 29, 2021

    Pa. Justices Take Up Case Over Workers' Comp Claim Limits

    The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania agreed to take a rare interlocutory appeal to decide if a former auto shop worker's claims for toxic benzene exposure were barred under the state's workers' compensation law, or if his potentially long-simmering disease could've started early enough to trigger an exemption to that law.

  • July 29, 2021

    1st Circ. Suggests Carbonite Stock-Drop Suit May Be Revived

    The First Circuit on Thursday signaled its skepticism that Carbonite Inc. should have escaped a stock-drop suit, wondering how the company's higher-ups could have possibly been in the dark about a data backup product that never worked while touting it to investors.

  • July 28, 2021

    7th Circ. Revives Stock Suit Against Ex-Appvion Execs

    A Seventh Circuit panel revived litigation accusing the ex-leaders of the bankrupt paper company Appvion of overvaluing the business's stock to line their own pockets, saying Wednesday that the Employee Retirement Income Security Act doesn't preempt state-law misconduct claims against the former directors and officers.

  • July 28, 2021

    Cornell Asks 2nd Circ. To Drop ERISA Class Action

    Cornell University urged the Second Circuit on Wednesday to back a lower court's decision axing allegations that the Ivy League school mismanaged its employee retirement plans, saying the class didn't have evidence supporting claims that the plans paid unreasonable fees and offered poor-performing investment options.

  • July 28, 2021

    NJ Hospital Ducks Disability Bias Suit At 3rd Circ.

    The Third Circuit has refused to revive a nurse's disability bias suit against a New Jersey hospital, backing a lower court's decision that a jury couldn't find that her former employer's reason for letting her go was just a smokescreen for discrimination.

  • July 28, 2021

    Deloitte Can't Strip Class Claims From Maternity Leave Suit

    A Manhattan federal judge declined Wednesday to strike class action claims from a former Deloitte cybersecurity expert's suit alleging that she was fired from her role as a senior manager because she took full maternity leave.

  • July 28, 2021

    UFCW Fund Scores $1.4M Deal In Withdrawal Liability Suit

    The owner of a now-defunct food distributor agreed to shell out $1.4 million to end a United Food and Commercial Workers pension fund's lawsuit over the company pulling out of the multi-employer plan.

  • July 27, 2021

    Cohen Weiss Partner Tapped For DOL Benefits Chief

    The Biden administration announced Tuesday that it has nominated Cohen Weiss & Simon LLP partner Lisa Gomez to lead the U.S. Department of Labor's employee benefits unit, which produces and enforces the federal regulations that apply to employer-provided retirement and health care plans.

  • July 27, 2021

    T. Rowe Price Inks Deal To End ERISA In-House Fund Suit

    T. Rowe Price Group has settled an ERISA class action accusing it of enriching itself at its workers' expense by packing the company's 401(k) plan with in-house products, according to paperwork filed in Maryland federal court.

  • July 27, 2021

    Calif. Fines 3 Grocery Stores For Skirting COVID Leave Rules

    California's labor regulator on Tuesday slapped three El Super grocery stores with fines totaling nearly $448,000 for their purported failure to provide timely paid sick leave to 95 workers affected by the coronavirus — some of whom were told to report to work sick.

  • July 27, 2021

    Investors Settle For $27M In Fight Over ConAgra Unit Buy

    An Illinois federal judge on Tuesday granted initial approval to a $27 million settlement resolving investors' claims that private foods manufacturer TreeHouse Foods Inc. overstated its success after buying a $2.7 billion ConAgra Foods Inc. business and inflated its stock price.

  • July 27, 2021

    Ex-GC Says Defunct CBD Cos. Re-Formed With New Name

    The former general counsel for a trio of Pittsburgh-based CBD oil companies has asked a Pennsylvania federal court to let him amend his back pay and benefits lawsuit, claiming that the companies fraudulently transferred their assets and operations to a new entity after effectively disappearing from the suit.

  • July 27, 2021

    Ex-Dallas Cowboy's Benefits Verdict Upended On Appeal

    A Texas appeals court Monday scrapped a 2019 jury verdict awarding workers' compensation benefits to a former Dallas Cowboys offensive lineman, finding that neither he nor his insurance carrier had proposed the right venue for the dispute.

  • July 27, 2021

    State Street Says ERISA Suit Short On Evidence

    State Street Corp. urged a Massachusetts federal court to throw out a proposed class action accusing the bank of managing its 401(k) plan for its own benefit rather than workers', arguing the suit is all hindsight and is devoid of specific allegations of malfeasance.

  • July 26, 2021

    Estee Lauder Must Face Workers' ERISA Excessive-Fee Suit

    Estee Lauder can't shake an ERISA suit alleging that the company's $1.6 billion retirement plan charged workers too much in fees, with a New York federal judge ruling Monday that a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling doesn't doom the proposed class action.

  • July 26, 2021

    PBM Group Asks 8th Circ. To Revive ND Preemption Row

    The lobbying group for the industry that negotiates with pharmacies on health insurers' behalf has urged the Eighth Circuit to revive its since-vacated decision to strike down a North Dakota law regulating this sector.

  • July 26, 2021

    Fired Atty Takes Sex Bias Suit Over Parental Leave To 1st Circ.

    An attorney who said his firm slashed his workload and then fired him for seeking parental leave told a Massachusetts federal court Monday that he would ask the First Circuit to nix a decision booting his suit to arbitration.

Expert Analysis

  • Law Firms, Know Who's Responsible For Your Cloud Security

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    Lawyers generally know that files go into the cloud and that the files are then secured and protected, but it's necessary for firms to take a closer look at their cloud supply chain and then come up with a responsibility matrix that helps mitigate any potential risks or weaknesses, says Martin Ward at iManage.

  • Benefits For Law Firms Venturing Into New Services

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    By offering more services, law firms can deepen and strengthen their client relationships and truly become an extension of their clients' teams while generating new revenue streams, and while there are risks associated with expanding into consulting, they may be worth it, says Lou Ramos at Major Lindsey.

  • Series

    Embracing ESG: Exelon GC Talks Diversity Initiatives

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    Executing a commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion programming, through recruitment, inclusive legal pipelines and community empowerment via pro bono efforts, can ensure a strong environmental, social and governance proposition, says Gayle Littleton at Exelon.

  • 7th Circ. Ruling Poses Hurdle To Multiemployer Funds' Claims

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    The Seventh Circuit’s recent dismissal of the East Central Illinois Pipe Trades Health and Welfare Fund’s delinquent contribution claims against Prather Plumbing & Heating creates a challenge for multiemployer welfare and pension funds since the jurisdictional defense used could be raised in future cases to evade contribution obligations and withdrawal liability, says Mark DeBofsky at DeBofsky Sherman.

  • Revamping Law Firm Marketing Lists — With Partner Buy-In

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    Jackson Lewis’ Paige Bowser shares lessons from the firm's recent overhaul of an outdated email marketing database, including tips for getting partners on board, ensuring compliance with privacy laws and augmenting outreach strategies.

  • The Murky World Of Legal Rankings Gets Some Clarity In NJ

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    New Jersey's new, stringent approach to legal rankings will make accolade advertising more transparent, benefiting both attorneys and clients and offering legal marketers a new set of best practices amid evolving standards, say Penny Paul at Lowenstein Sandler and Susan Peters at Greybridge.

  • Series

    Embracing ESG: Cigna Counsel Talks Employee Wellness

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    Building employee well-being into corporate environmental, social and governance priorities required our legal team to focus more closely on cross-functional collaboration within the company and increased communication with our board of directors and shareholders, says Julia Brncic at Cigna.

  • Hybrid Work Models Are Key To Gender Parity In Law Firms

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    To curb the historically high rates of attrition among female lawyers, Roberta Liebenberg at Fine Kaplan and Stephanie Scharf at Scharf Banks suggest firms must normalize hybrid work schedules, and they recommend best practices to promote engagement among all attorneys, regardless of where they work.

  • 3 Keys To Winning Your Next Oral Argument

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    To leverage the unique opportunity oral arguments provide to talk directly to judges and contribute to their decision making, attorneys must mind the three hallmarks of persuasiveness: projecting credibility, exuding likability and gaining the listener's trust, says Daniel Karon at Karon LLC.

  • Opinion

    Benefits Ruling Contradicts Intent Of ERISA, Disability Plans

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    A Massachusetts federal court’s recent ruling in DeBold v. Liberty Life Assurance, upholding the insurer’s finding that rollover retirement funds could reduce disability payments, is inconsistent with the purpose of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act and eviscerates a disability benefits plan's goal of providing financial support during an employee’s working years, says Mark DeBofsky at DeBofsky Sherman.

  • Keys To Efficient And Accurate Doc Review For E-Discovery

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    Attorneys involved in e-discovery can review information accurately and cost-effectively by understanding the data in a document collection and identifying its key pitfalls, drafting comprehensive review guidelines, and preparing ahead, says John Wertelet at Eckert Seamans.

  • Series

    Embracing ESG: Raytheon GC Talks Climate Change

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    Now that the climate crisis is seen as an existential threat, the stakes couldn't be higher — or the challenges more daunting — for the general counsel, who must enlist all parts of the company for support while providing both a legal and ethical road map on how to respond, says Frank Jimenez at Raytheon.

  • Q2 Stock Drop Stats Buoy High Court's Goldman Ruling

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    Nearly 40% of stock drop claims filed in the second quarter of 2021 lacked indirect price impact, underscoring the importance of the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent Goldman Sachs decision that effectively institutes a data-driven control to limit meritless securities class action litigation, say analysts at SAR.

  • Mass. Ruling A Cautionary Tale For Attorneys Changing Firms

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    The Massachusetts high court's recent ruling in Governo v. Bergeron, that lawyers could be held liable for unfair competition with a former firm, highlights important considerations for departing attorneys soliciting clients to come with them, say Mariana Korsunsky and Gary Ronan at Goulston & Storrs.

  • Plaintiff Takeaways From High Court's Goldman Ruling

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    The defense bar has claimed victory following the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent decision in Goldman Sachs v. Arkansas Teacher Retirement System, but the ruling provides plaintiffs with valuable insight for securities fraud class certification battles moving forward, say Marc Gross and Jeremy Lieberman at Pomerantz.

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