News Brief

Bachrach Obtains Defense Judgment in ERISA Benefits Lawsuit

August 31, 2021

Joshua Bachrach (Partner-Philadelphia, PA) was awarded judgment in favor of the firm’s insurance company client in an ERISA benefits dispute in the U.S. District Court for the District of Nevada. Earlier in the case, Josh convinced the court that the “governmental plan” exception to ERISA did not apply to the former police officer claimant because the plan was sponsored by the Los Angeles Police Protective League, a non-governmental entity. The remaining issue to be decided was whether the firm’s client correctly offset the claimant’s monthly long-term disability benefits by $110,000 in pension benefits. When the claimant’s benefits were first awarded, the League was insured as a participating unit of a Trust, and under the Trust policy, the reduction in benefits was allowed. But after he began receiving benefits, participation in the Trust policy ended and a new policy was delivered to the League as policyholder. The claimant argued that the second policy was an amendment of the prior policy, and Ninth Circuit law dictates that the policy in effect at the time of the claim decision would be the policy to apply to the claim. Josh argued that the Trust policy continued to apply to the claim because it stated that termination of the policy “will not affect any claim [that] was covered prior to termination.” The court agreed that the offset applied and entered judgment for the client.

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