California Insurance Litigation Blog

California Insurance Litigation Blog

Category Archives: Conflict of Interest

Subscribe to Conflict of Interest RSS Feed

McKennon Law Group Wins Disability Insurance Lawsuit Against Sun Life And Health Insurance Company Following Trial

Posted in Abuse of Discretion, Conflict of Interest, Disability Insurance, ERISA, News, Standard of Review
On November 27, 2012, following a trial before Judge Cormac J. Carney of the United States Federal District Court for the Central District of California, Robert J. McKennon and Scott E. Calvert of the McKennon Law Group secured a victory for their client in a lawsuit against Sun Life and Health Insurance Company.  Representing the … Continue Reading

Under ERISA, Communications with In-House Counsel Before a Final Claims Decision are Not Privileged and are Subject to Discovery to Show a Conflict of Interest

Posted in Conflict of Interest, Disability Insurance, ERISA
Are insureds entitled to communications between an insurance company’s in-house counsel and the claims handlers that might otherwise be protected by the attorney-client privilege?  Following a new ruling by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, if the claimant is insured under an ERISA plan, the answer might be “yes.” For decades, courts, including the Ninth … Continue Reading

Exhaustion of Administrative Remedies Under ERISA Not Required If Exhaustion Would Have Been Futile

Posted in Conflict of Interest, Disability Insurance, ERISA
Terrance Burnett was eligible for short-term disability (“STD”) benefits and long-term disability (“LTD”) benefits through employee welfare benefit plans funded by his employer, The Raytheon Company, and administered by Metropolitan Life Insurance Company (“MetLife”).  After his doctors stated that Burnett’s psychiatric condition prevented him from performing his job duties, he filed a claim for STD … Continue Reading

District Court Applies Abuse of Discretion Standard of Review After Montour

Posted in Abuse of Discretion, Case Updates, Conflict of Interest, ERISA, News, Standard of Review
Recently, in Montour v. Harford Life & Accident, 582 F.3d 933 (9th Cir. 2009), the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, in one of its most important cases, adopted a new standard of reviewing ERISA abuse of discretion cases where the insurer has a conflict of interest.  The court held that a “modicum of evidence in … Continue Reading

“Top Hat” ERISA Plans Are Not Entitled To Special Treatment

Posted in Abuse of Discretion, Case Updates, Conflict of Interest, Disability Insurance, ERISA, News
The Ninth Circuit recently addressed, for the first time, whether the standard of review analysis for “top hat” ERISA plans is the same as for other ERISA plans.  In Sznewajs v. U.S. Bancorp Amended and Restated Supplemental Benefits Plan, 572  F.3d 727 (9th Cir. 2009), Franciene Sznewajs, the ex-wife of co-defendant Robert Sznewajs, challenged the Plan’s decision … Continue Reading

Ninth Circuit Clarifies Application of Abuse of Discretion Review When Insurer Has a Conflict of Interest

Posted in Abuse of Discretion, Case Updates, Conflict of Interest, Disability Insurance, ERISA, News
After the United States Supreme Court decided MetLife Ins. Co. v. Glenn in which the Court held that a reviewing court must consider the conflict of interest arising from the dual role of an insurer acting as a plan administrator and payor of plan benefits as a factor in determining whether the insurer abused its … Continue Reading