Monday, June 28, 2010

Busy Times in the ERISA World

4United States Supreme Court 112904 Two ERISA developments to bring to readers' attention in the ERISA word today:

1.    The U.S. Supreme Court denied cert. in the San Francisco ERISA preemption case: Golden Gate Rest. Ass'n v. San Francisco, U.S., No. 08-1515, review denied 6/28/10.  Apparently, the Court did not envy taking another ERISA preemption savings clause case and besides, the passage of the national health care legislation may make the issue moot now. The case concerned controversial employer mandate provisions of a health care ordinance adopted by the city and county of San Francisco to provide coverage for low-to-moderate income employees. The Ninth Circuit held the ordinance was not preempted.

2. The U.S. Supreme Court astoundingly decided to weigh in on yet another ERISA case. The issue in CIGNA v. Amara is what the standard for recovery is when a summary plan description (SPD) does not comply with ERISA. More specifically, the issue is whether pension plan participants must show that they were “likely harmed” by a deficient summary plan description before they will be entitled to recover plan benefits as set out in the SPD.


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Re: CIGNA v. Amara, I'd quibble a bit with your description of the question -- it's really about whether a showing of "likely harm" is sufficient to obtain a recovery as opposed to some other, more difficult, standard like "detrimental reliance," no?

Posted by: kpj | Jun 30, 2010 5:39:51 PM

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