U.S. Airways v. McCutchen – Traditional Equitable Doctrines Do Not Override The Express Terms Of An ERISA Plan

Read the article by Horace Green.

US-Airways-v-McCutchen-article

The Supreme Court’s opinion in U.S. Airways v. McCutchen, case no. 11-1285, decided April 16, 2013

Read the opinion.

US-Airways-v-McCutchen

The Impact of AMARA: (A) (3) Relief

View the presentation.

Amara

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act: Analyzing the Decisions

As of November 2011, four Circuit Courts have issued opinions on the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.  Each case has essentially focused on two issues: whether the Act’s Section 1501, the Requirement to Maintain Minimum Essential Coverage,  violates the Commerce Clause of the United States Constitution: and whether the penalty assessed against taxpayers who do not maintain the minimum level of coverage is a “tax” and therefore authorized under Congress’ taxing power.  These opinions are interesting but largely miss the mark in their analysis of whether the PPACA violates the Constitution…

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TTIPS-article-re-PPACA-judicial-opinions

 

Constitutionality of the ACA Overview and Predictions Presentation

Topics Covered:

  1. What does PPACA do
  2. Relevant Constitutional provisions
  3. Constitutional challenges
  4. How will Supreme Court rule
  5. Recusal issue
  6. Other challenges

Download the Power Point Presentation below.

Constitutionality-of-the-PPACA

 

Defending Punitive Damage Cases – Tips from the Trenches

Defending a punitive damages case is like walking a tight rope over a pool of alligators to grab a pot of gold: rewarding if you are successful, but painful if you fail. Twenty-seven years of trying, winning, and losing punitive damages cases brings a perspective not found in the classroom…

Download the complete article below.

Defending-Punitive-Damage-Cases-–-Tips-from-the-Trenches-by-Horace-Greeen

 

Will Health Care Reform Cause Employers to Drop their Employee Health Care Plans?

In the wake of the passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and the Health Care Education and Reconciliation Act, several commentators and political observers have suggested that employers will be financially overburdened to the point where they will need to eliminate their employee healthcare plans, thus depriving employees of health coverage and driving up the cost to taxpayers of funding the federally operated insurance exchanges. Several recent events have fueled this speculation:

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Legal v. Factual Disability

Experienced disability litigators know the general rule that disability insurance provides coverage with respect to factual, rather than legal, disabilities.  See generally, Couch on Insurance 3d § 146:9.  The prototypical “legal disability” case involves a claimant who is physically able to perform the duties of his occupation, but is prevented from doing so by either incarceration or suspension/revocation of a professional license.  Mass. Mutual Life Ins. Co. v. Millstein, 129 F.3d 688 (2d Cir. 1997); Wright v. Paul Revere Ins. Co., 291 F.Supp.2d 1104 (C.D. Cal. 2003).  Conversely, where a sickness or injury disables a claimant, benefits may be payable notwithstanding the fact that the claimant subsequently becomes incarcerated, unlicensed, or otherwise precluded from performing his or her  occupational duties.  Weissman v. First UNUM Life Ins. Co., 44 F.Supp.2d 512 (S.D.N.Y. 1999) – benefits payable where the brain injury pre-dated the legal order barring claimant from working as a securities broker;  P. Gary Stern M.D. v. Paul Revere Life Ins. Co. , 744 So.2d 1084 (FL 4th DCA 1999) – triable issue where onset of physical disability began before criminal proceedings. [Read more…]

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act: Analyzing the Decisions

As of June 2011, five District Courts and one Circuit Court have issued opinions on the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.   On October 7, 2010, Judge George Caram Steeh of the Eastern District of Michigan (Southern Division) issued his opinion in Thomas More Law Center v. Obama, case no. 10-CV-11156.  The Sixth Circuit affirmed Judge Steeh on June 29, 2011.  On November 30, 2010, Judge Norman Moon of the Western District of Virginia (Lynchburg Division) issued his opinion in Liberty University v. Geithner, case no. 6:10-cv-00015.  On December 13, 2010, Judge Henry E. Hudson issued his opinion in Commonwealth of Virginia v. Sibelius, case no. 3:10-cv-188.  On January 31, 2011,  Judge Roger Vinson issued his opinion in State of Florida v. United States Department of Health and Human Services, Northern District of Florida (Pensacola Division) case no. 3:10-cv-91 RV/EMT.  On February 22, 2011 Judge Gladys Kessler issued her opinion in Margaret Peggy Lee Mead, et al., v. Eric H. Holder, Jr. et al., USDC District of Columbia, civil action No. 10-950 (GK).  Each case has essentially focused on two issues: whether the Act’s Section 1501, the Requirement to Maintain Minimum Essential Coverage,  violates the Commerce Clause of the United States Constitution: and whether the penalty assessed against taxpayers who do not maintain the minimum level of coverage is a “tax” and therefore authorized under Congress’ taxing power.  These opinions are interesting but largely miss the mark in their analysis of whether the PPACA violates the Constitution.

[Read more…]

Maurer v Reliance Standard Life Ins. Co.—District Court finds no abuse of discretion

Read the order from the United States District Court for the Northern District of California attached below.

Order-Granting-Defs-Motion-for-Judgment