(c) 2017 Jon L Gelman, All Rights Reserved.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

US Supreme Court to Hear Arguments in ERISA Equitable Reimbursement Claim

US Supreme Court
ERISA health reimbursement claims asserted in Workers' Compensation claims may be subject to equitable relief depending on the upcoming decision in a case pending before the US Supreme Court. Oral argument is scheduled for  Nov. 27, 2012.

"....the Supreme Court will consider the meaning of “appropriate equitable relief” within the meaning of ERISA Section 502(a)(3) to determine whether the Act authorizes courts to use equity to rewrite health-benefit plan contracts. McCutchen argues that the term “appropriate” grants courts the discretion to override the contractual provisions of health plans in situations where strictly enforcing a plan’s terms would be inequitable to one of the parties. US Airways contends that the term “appropriate” relates only to whether or not a claim is appropriate to enforce the terms of the benefit plan and does not grant courts broad discretion to rewrite benefit plan terms. This case may have significant implications for both plan beneficiaries and plan administrators because it may affect the frequency of ERISA litigation, the financial viability of health benefit plans, and further define the legal 
rights of employers and employees participating in these plans. " U.S. Airways v. McCutchen (11-1285)
Jon L.Gelman of Wayne NJ is the author NJ Workers’ Compensation Law (West-Thompson) and co-author of the national treatise, Modern Workers’ Compensation Law (West-Thompson).

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