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Suicide Exclusion and Intoxication – New Colorado Supreme Court Decision Concerning Denied Life Insurance Claim

June 4, 2018

On June 4, 2018, the Colorado Supreme Court issued its opinion in Renfandt v. New York Life Insurance Company, 2018 CO 49, holding, “under Colorado law, a life insurance policy exclusion for ‘suicide, sane or insane’ excludes coverage only if the insured, whether sane or insane at the time, committed an act of self-destruction with the intent…

DISCOVERY CLEARLY PERMISSIBLE IN THE 10TH CIRCUIT ACCORDING TO RECENT RULINGS

January 7, 2012

I previously blogged about the 10th Circuit’s decision in Murphy v. DeLoite & Touche and the permissible scope of discovery in claims governed by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (“ERISA”). (Click here for prior post.) Although many of our local judges in the federal court in Colorado previously allowed at least some discovery sought…

EMPLOYERS NEED TO PAY BETTER ATTENTION TO THE LONG-TERM DISABILITY POLICIES THEY ARE ACTUALLY PURCHASING! SOME OF THESE POLICIES DON’T ADD UP TO MUCH

January 7, 2012

Every employer-provided long-term disability policy I have reviewed in the past ten years contains some sort of limitation on conditions for which disability benefits can be granted or the duration of those benefits. The most common type of limitation seen in a long-term disability policy relates to “mental disorders,” “substance abuse,” and a general provision…

TEXAS JOINS STATES OUTLAWING DISCRETIONARY CLAUSES

February 27, 2011

The Texas Department of Insurance has adopted a new rule prohibiting discretionary clauses in disability insurance policies. Texas now joins the growing list of a number of states which have undertaken similar action. The ban applies to group life and disability policies and is similar to Colorado’s ban on discretionary clauses as found in C.R.S.…

10th CIRCUIT FINALLY ADDRESSES ISSUE OF DISCOVERY IN ERISA CASES

January 14, 2011

As attorneys representing claimants whose disability, health or life benefits have been denied, we have grown accustomed to waging a battle over the ability to engage in discovery of information outside of the so called administrative record in cases governed by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (“ERISA”). Generally, the law in the 10th Circuit…

FEDERAL COURT AWARDS ATTORNEY’S FEES IN ERISA LTD CASE

January 14, 2011

A Federal Court Magistrate Judge recently ordered Qwest Disability Plan to pay Plaintiff’s attorney’s fees in an action pending in the United States District Court for the District of Colorado. In Robin Cross v. Qwest Disability Plan, Magistrate Judge Kathleen M. Tafoya awarded attorney’s fees in favor of Plaintiff Cross whose disability benefits had been…

ERISA’s Exemption for Governmental Plans and Right to Jury Trial – According to the Tenth

February 3, 2010

The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals recently issued a decision addressing two ERISA issues: (1) what constitutes a “governmental plan;” and (2) the right to trial by jury. These issues were addressed in the case of Shirley Graham v. Hartford Life and Accident Insurance Company, 589 F.3d 1345 (10th Cir. 2009), decided December 29, 2009.…

FAVORABLE RULINGS RECEIVED IN PERA DISABILITY CLAIM

February 3, 2010

This office handles a great many number of claims on behalf of PERA Members who are seeking disability benefits. The PERA Disability Program is administered by Standard Insurance Company. For a more detailed discussion of PERA issues, please refer to the PERA disability section of our website by clicking here. This office recently concluded litigation in…

Favorable Ruling against Pre-emption on Discretionary Clauses in ERISA Disability Case

August 11, 2009

Earlier this year, the Law Office of Shawn E. McDermott, LLC received a favorable decision from the United States District Court Judge Christine M. Arguello in an ERISA long-term disability case involving two important issues. The case handled by this office is titled Mark Kohut v. Hartford Life and Accident Insurance Company and has now been published…

THE AMERICAN RECOVERY AND REINVESTMENT ACT- IMPACT ON COBRA RIGHTS

April 24, 2009

The President recently signed into law an economic stimulus package titled The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. This law may impact your health care and other employee benefits. The plan includes provisions to assist certain eligible jobless workers pay for health insurance under COBRA. This applies to employers with 20 or more employees and, specifically…