ERISA and Group Insurance Litigation

Litigation concerning employee benefits is on the rise.  As employees find themselves without a job or with a reduction in pay/benefits, they are filing claims regarding their severance packages, retirement/pension plans, life, health and disability benefits with increased regularity.  In addition, the plaintiff’s bar has embraced ERISA theories and discovered creative ways to present claims, especially in the class action context.  On top of all of this, the United States Supreme Court and many appellate courts across the country have released watershed ERISA opinions in recent years expanding both theories of recovery and the scope of discovery.  In light of these developments, plans, employers, administrators and fiduciaries need an ERISA litigation team with the depth and experience to protect their interests.

Maynard Cooper’s ERISA litigation advantage is its ability to obtain the desired outcome at a lower cost. Our nationally-recognized expertise and substantial experience allow us to delve into the problems at hand and bring practical considerations to bear for our clients. The attorneys practicing in this group regularly appear in federal courts in jurisdictions across the country and have accumulated extensive experience in discovery, summary judgment and appellate motion practice and argument. In addition to our established record in achieving summary judgment, we also have successfully fashioned innovative and bottom-line settlements, both informally and through alternative dispute resolution, yielding significant cost savings for our clients. Our clients know that Maynard Cooper’s ERISA litigation attorneys will listen to their needs and objectives and will collaborate with them to reach the desired result.

Maynard Cooper’s ERISA litigation team has represented clients in a broad range of suits, including:

  • 401(k) “stock drop” claims against a top ten national financial institution alleging that the company’s officers, directors and other fiduciaries should compensate them for losses associated with their investment in company stock
  • Breach of fiduciary duty claims relating to a national health insurer’s administration of Fortune 500 company’s Plan
  • ERISA claims related to executive incentives, equity and deferred compensation plans
  • ERISA claims related to entitlement to disability, health, pension, accidental death and dismemberment, and health and welfare benefits, including the state wide and regional representation of many national insurers
  • Breach of fiduciary duty claims against employers relating to “credited service“ calculation for former pension plan participants
  • Class action suits with ERISA claims against state’s largest health insurer brought by doctors, chiropractors, pharmacies and dentists
  • ERISA COBRA notice claims
  • Non-ERISA claims against largest county employer in Alabama alleging misconduct related to pension formula calculations and reduction in retiree health insurance benefits.

Some of Maynard Cooper’s clients utilizing this practice group include:

  • AIG
  • AI Life Insurance Company of New York
  • Alabama National Bank Corporation
  • American Cast Iron Pipe Company
  • Baptist Health System, Inc.
  • BellSouth Publishing and Advertising Company
  • BellSouth Telecommunications, Inc.
  • Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama
  • CIGNA Corporation
  • CNA/Continental Casualty Company
  • Connecticut General Life Insurance Company
  • Franklin Life Insurance Company
  • Hartford Companies
  • HealthSouth Corporation
  • Jefferson Pilot Financial Insurance Company
  • Kinder Morgan/El Paso Corporation
  • Life Insurance Company of North America
  • Magellan Behavioral Health, Inc.
  • McWane, Inc.
  • Merrill Lynch
  • Pemco Aeroplex, Inc.
  • Principal Life Insurance Company
  • Protective Life Insurance Company
  • United Security Bancshares, Inc.
May 18, 2020
U.S. Department of Education Releases Updated Guidance for COVID-19 Interruptions

Late on Friday, May 15, the U.S. Department of Education (“Department”) released updated guidance on a host of issues arising from interruptions in institutional operations related to the COVID-19 national emergency.  This new 11-page document, along with an accompanying Q&A,…

May 15, 2020
Finally! Much Anticipated COVID-19 Guidance Provides Flexibility for Cafeteria Plan Elections, Additional Changes

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, employers and employees have faced unprecedented financial strain, and employers have been looking for ways to provide flexibility with respect to cafeteria plan elections. This week, the IRS issued guidance designed to provide…