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Labor & Employment

Labor & Employment – ERISA ‘Satisfactory Proof’ Standard Clarified (access required)

Cosey v. The Prudential Ins. Co. of America : Joining five sister circuits, the 4th Circuit says an ERISA plan that grants long-term disability benefits on proof of continuing disability “satisfactory” to the plan administrator does not confer discretionary decision-making authority on the plan administrator; the 4th Circuit vacates summary judgment for employer and remands employee’s suit for disability benefits for her fibromyalgia, sleep disorder and related conditions.

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Labor & Employment – ERISA ‘Satisfactory Proof’ Standard Clarified (access required)

Cosey v. The Prudential Ins. Co. of America : Joining five sister circuits, the 4th Circuit says an ERISA plan that grants long-term disability benefits on proof of continuing disability “satisfactory” to the plan administrator does not confer discretionary decision-making authority on the plan administrator; the 4th Circuit vacates summary judgment for employer and remands employee’s suit for disability benefits for her fibromyalgia, sleep disorder and related conditions.

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Labor & Employment – ERISA Plan – Disability – Standard of Review – Abuse of Discretion – Reasoned –Process – Sparse Medical Records (access required)

Brooks v. AT&T Umbrella Benefit Plan No. 1 : The ERISA plan documents delegate the plan administrator’s discretion to a third-party claims and appeals administrator. Plaintiff has not directed the court to any authority that would suggest the plan administrator was required to name its third-party claims and appeals administrator within the summary plan description or in some other specific plan document in order to delegate discretion to this third party.

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Labor & Employment – Banks & Banking – FIRREA Claim – First Impression — ERISA – ‘Top Hat’ Plans – Receivership (access required)

Loftus v. Federal Deposit Insurance Corp Although there were still some contingencies to the fulfillment of plaintiffs’ “top hat” plan when their bank became insolvent and the FDIC was appointed as receiver, the contract rights that gave rise to plaintiffs’ claims were created prior to the insolvency and FDIC appointment.

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Labor & Employment – Contract – Covenant Not to Compete – Territory Restriction – Evidentiary Conflict – Choice of Law Provision — Appeals (access required)

Team IA, Inc. v. Lucas The writ of certiorari was improvidently granted (The Court of Appeals held that where there was conflicting evidence as to the defendant-sales representative’s contact with customers outside Georgia, summary judgment was premature on the issue of the reasonableness of a covenant not to compete in Georgia, Alabama, North Carolina and South Carolina).

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Labor & Employment – ERISA – Administrative Remedies – Failure to Exhaust — Termination Allowance Plan – Divestiture – Comparable Job Offer (access required)

Day v. Eastman Chemical Co. After the defendant-employer sold the facility at which plaintiff worked, the new owner offered plaintiff a job, and plaintiff sought benefits under defendants’ ERISA-governed termination allowance plan because the new owner offered a salary that was more than 10 percent less than plaintiff’s previous salary

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