McDermott Law, LLC
4600 S. Ulster Street,
Suite 800
Denver, CO 80237

(303) 964-1800

Shawn E. McDermott

About McDermott Law —

Insurance Benefits and ERISA Attorneys

Serving Denver, Colorado Springs, Ft Collins and all other Colorado Communities

Shawn E. McDermott | Denver Disability & ERISA Attorney

Shawn E. McDermott is an insurance law litigator and personal injury attorney who primarily serves communities of Denver, Boulder, Aurora, Littleton, Ft. Collins, Greeley, Colorado Springs, Grand Junction, Durango and the other areas throughout Colorado and the Rocky Mountain West.  The attorneys and staff at McDermott Law  handle a wide variety of disputes with insurance companies involving injury, illness, and disease. He has practiced law in Denver since 1992 and has extensive experience litigating cases involving personal injury, insurance coverage and bad faith, disability law and ERISA.

Shawn E. McDermott

Founding Attorney/Manager

Shawn E. McDermott | Denver Disability & ERISA LawyerEducation

Shawn E. McDermott is the owner/manager of the firm specializing in the areas of insurance recovery and bad faith, ERISA, Colorado PERA, disability and life insurance, personal injury, and wrongful death.

Shawn is a 1992 graduate of the University of Colorado School of Law. He also received his Bachelor of Science degree in Architectural Engineering in 1988 from the University of Colorado. His first year of law school was spent at the University of San Francisco.

While in law school, Shawn was a member of the Rothgerber Moot Court winning team and received the Austin W. Scott, Jr. Award for Excellence in Oral Argument.

Prior to forming McDermott Law in 1996, Shawn spent approximately five years at the law firm of Breit, Best Richman and Bosch representing individuals and insurance companies and their insureds in a variety of claims, including insurance coverage and bad faith, aviation cases, automobile crashworthiness, railroad crossing injury, professional (medical and legal) liability, products liability, skier and ski area liability, catastrophic injury and wrongful death. He now dedicates the bulk of his time and this firm’s resources to representing individuals against insurance companies in the areas of disability, life, health and accidental death & dismemberment claims, ERISA-governed claims for employee benefits, PERA disability retirement claims, and serious personal injury matters.

Shawn has litigated hundreds of ERISA and non-ERISA disability and life insurance claims in the Colorado and in the United States District Court for the District of Colorado. Shawn’s federal court experience is significant in the ERISA arena, likely having handled more of these claims than any other Colorado attorney.  Shawn has appeared before virtually all of the United States District Court Judges and Magistrate Judges.  He has also argued in front of the Colorado Court of Appeals and the United States Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals.


Shawn is a member of the Denver Bar Association and the Colorado Bar Association. He is an active in the Colorado Trial Lawyers Association, and has served on its Board of Directors as well as a two year stint as the Chairperson for the Young Lawyers Committee. He is also a member of the American Association for Justice (formerly Association of Trial Lawyers of America). Shawn is licensed to practice in all Colorado State and Federal courts, including the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals.


  • C.R.S. § 10-3-1116, ERISA Preemption, and the Standard of Review, Colorado Lawyer, July 2010, Vol. 39, No. 7
  • The Impact of HB 1407 on ERISA Health, Life and Disability Claims, presented at HB 1407: Insurance Accountability Act Seminar, Colorado Trial Lawyers Association, 2008
  • Group Long-Term Disability Coverage and ERISA, Colorado Lawyer, May 2004, Vol.33, No.5
  • Unreasonable Failure of the Liability Insurer to Defend or Settle: The Consequences, Colorado Insurance Bad Faith Law & Practice Seminar, Professional Education Systems, Inc., 1996
  • Damages in Insurance Bad Faith, Lorman Education Services, 1994
  • Understanding ERISA: A Trail Through the Thorny Woods of Pre-Emption, Exemptions and Exceptions, Lorman Education Services, 1994
  • Work Product Immunity, Attorney-Client Privilege & Peer Review and Quality Assurance Confidentiality, Colorado Healthcare Associated Risk Managers, 1994
  • McDermott, S., Employer-Provided Disability Coverage and Offsets for Other Income Benefits: The Necessary Coordination of Benefits, Trial Talk CTLA Magazine, June 2013, Vol.62, Issue 4
  • McDermott, S., ERISA Claims: The Top Ten Things to Know About Claims, Appeals and Litigation, presented at Insurance Bad Faith Seminar, Colorado Trial Lawyers Association, May 15, 2015


Published/Recognized Cases

  • Rivera v. Unum Life Ins. Co. of America,No. 11-cv-02585-WYD-KLM,  2012 WL 2709138 (D.Colo. July 09, 2012)
  • Croll v. Connecticut General Life Insurance Co. (CIGNA), and Lockheed Martin Group Universal Life Plan, an ERISA Welfare Benefit Plan, 863 F.Supp.2d 1093, 2012 WL 1439172, No. 2010-cv-0735-CMA-MEH (D. Colo. April 26, 2012)
  • Bray v. Sun Life and Health Ins. Co. (U.S.),No. 08-cv-02335-RBJ-CBS, 2012 WL 628611 (D.Colo. Feb. 27, 2012)
  • Bottoms v. Liberty Life Assurance of Boston,No. 11–cv–01606–PAB–CBS, 2011 WL 6181423 (D.Colo. Dec. 13, 2011)
  • Bray v. Sun Life and Health Insurance,No. 08-cv-02335-WYD-CBS, 2010 WL 3341521 (D.Colo. Aug. 23, 2010)
  • Kohut v. Hartford Life & Accident Ins. Co.,No. 08-cv-00669-CMA-MJW, 2008 WL 5246163 (D.Colo. Dec. 16, 2008)
  • State Farm v. American Family and American Standard Ins. Co. and Eliberto Meza, Amelia Meza, Sofi Meza, Irene Meza, Rosalinda Chaparro, Flora Quintana, and Angelita Cordera,Colorado Court of Appeals No.: 06CA2667 (July 3, 2008)(Not Selected for Official Publication)
  • Hoyt v. Prudential Ins. Co. of Am.,No. 07-cv-02210-LTB-KLM, 2008 WL 686922 (D.Colo. Mar. 12, 2008)
  • Jeffryes v. Hartford Life & Accident Ins. Co.,No. 05-cv-01770-EWN-CBS, 2006 WL 1186493 (D.Colo. May 4, 2006)
  • McCord v. Affinity Ins. Group,13 P.3d 1224 (Colo. App. 2000) (NO. 99CA2118)
  • Progressive Specialty Ins. Co. v. Hartford Underwriters Ins. Co.,148 P.3d 470 (Colo.App. 2006) October 19, 2006 (No. 05CA1161)
  • Kaferly v. Metropolitan Life Insurance Company, 189 F. Supp.3d 1085, 2016 WL 3197375 (D.Colo. May 31, 2016)


When not in the office, Shawn enjoys spending time with his wife and two sons. He is an avid golfer, fly fisherman and motorcyclist in the summer (when there is time). The winter months in Colorado are of course meant for skiing with family and friends.


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