CMN Wins Summary Judgment in ERISA Class Action Suit

By Publications Archives

District Court Judge Elaine Bucklo of the Northern District of Illinois entered summary judgment in favor of CMN client, First Commonwealth Insurance Company, in a class action brought on behalf of a putative class of dental HMO members under Section 1132(a)(1)(b) of ERISA and the federal common law of promissory estoppel.  The class plaintiff contended that First Commonwealth’s marketing brochure and use of market data from outside sources to establish the fee schedule of dental charges in defined geographic areas to determine plan participants’ copayments was misleading.

In ruling for First Commonwealth, the Court adopted CMN’s primary arguments that the named class representative failed to exhaust administrative remedies under ERISA and that he failed to show there were any knowing misrepresentations in the plan documents.  The Court also held that it was unreasonable for the plaintiff to rely on the brochure alone since it referred plan participants to other plan documents which provided a more complete description of plan benefits.  Upon entry of summary judgment for First Commonwealth, Judge Bucklo then denied the motion for class certification as moot.

The decision in Kaden v. First Commonwealth, No. 05 C 2212, clarifies the law with respect to the exhaustion of administrative remedies doctrine and the requirement that any ERISA estoppel claim must be supported by a knowing misrepresentation.  The winning briefs were written by CMN member, David Schmidt, with the assistance of associate, Joseph Jeffery.  See attached Memorandum Opinion and Order.

Related Documents
   Memorandum Opinion and Order

 

Related Members                            

David F. Schmidt
Joseph J. Hasman
Joseph R. Jeffery

CMN Publishes 2008 Life, Health, Disability Law Survey

By Publications Archives

Chittenden, Murday & Novotny’s article “Recent Developments in Health Insurance, Life Insurance, and Disability Insurance Case Law” was recently published in the Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Law Journal at 43-3 Tort Trial & Ins. Prac. L.J. 473 (Spring 2008).


Related Documents
   Recent Developments Article

 

Related Members                            

William A. Chittenden, III
Elizabeth G. Doolin
Michael B. Galibois
David F. Schmidt
Joseph J. Hasman
Jennifer S. Stegmaier
Joseph R. Jeffery
Julie F. Wall

Related Associates

Craig M. Bargher
Georgia J. Joyce
Stuart F. Primack
Vittorio F. Terrizzi

CMN Publishes 2007 Life, Health, Disability Law Survey

By Publications Archives

Chittenden, Murday & Novotny’s article “Recent Developments in Health Insurance, Life Insurance, and Disability Insurance Case Law” was recently published in the Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Law Journal at 42:2 Tort Trial & Ins. Prac. L.J. 511 (Winter 2007).  See attached article.

Related Documents
   Recent Developments Article

 

Related Members                            

William A. Chittenden, III
Elizabeth G. Doolin
Michael B. Galibois
David F. Schmidt
Joseph J. Hasman
Jennifer S. Stegmaier
Joseph R. Jeffery
Julie F. Wall

Related Associates

Craig M. Bargher
Georgia J. Joyce
Vittorio F. Terrizzi

Eleventh Circuit Affirms Summary Judgment In ERISA Disability Case

By Publications Archives

In a significant decision affecting the Firm’s group disability insurance clients, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a summary judgment in favor of the insurer in a suit for ERISA disability benefits. The claimant argued she was totally disabled by virtue of her chronic migraine headaches but failed to produce any objective documentation of her condition. The Court of Appeals rejected her contention that it was wrong for the administrator to require objective proof of a disability that was primarily subjective in nature and held that the decision to deny benefits was not arbitrary or capricious as a matter of law. The case was handled in the trial court and on appeal by Firm member, David Schmidt. (2006 WL 2220822; 11th Cir., August 4, 2006.)

Related Documents
   Susan Wangenstein v. Equifax, Inc., Lumbermens Mutual Casualty Company

 

Related Member                            

David F. Schmidt