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Ben Glass
Ben Glass
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Things Just Got Harder for ERISA claimants

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Claims for denial of insurance benefits under employer sponsored plans (ERISA) are tough. They are tough because

–the insurance company gets the benefit of the doubt–you have to prove they were not just wrong but REALLY wrong

–there are no jury trials…. federal judges decide the cases on the record

–there is virtually no discovery–you deal with only those documents the insurance company wants you to have

–there is no recovery for pain and suffering.

The one “saving grace” had been that it was reasonably certain that you would recovery your attorney fees (that was to make up for this terrible, one-sided, law)

Not anymore–Not here in Virginia at least.

The 4th Circuit Court of Appeals just issued an opinion which makes it incredibly difficult to recover attorney fees. in Carolina Care Plan v McKenzie, the court imposes a standard akin to actual “bad faith.”

The upshot of this case is that there will be even fewer attorneys willing to take these cases on. We estimate that there are fewer than 127 attorneys in the United States who are willing (and competent) to handle and ERISA insurance case. . This case just cut that number, for sure.