Win by New York Attorneys Carried in Pension & Benefits Daily
Addressing an issue of first impression for the circuit, the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit affirmed a judgment that Sedgwick obtained for our client in a precedential ruling, upholding the explicit terms of a benefits plan’s limitations period. Plaintiff filed an ERISA suit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York to challenge denial of long-term disability benefits by our clients, an insurance carrier and a long-term disability plan. Sedgwick asserted that plaintiff’s claim was time-barred because of her policy’s limitation provision.
New York attorneys Michael Bernstein
and John Seybert
secured an impressive win on behalf of their client in the case Burke v. PriceWaterhouseCoopers LLP .
A summary of their victory was published in the Bureau of National Affairs Pension & Benefits Daily
article "Second Circuit OKs Use of "Proof of Loss" as Trigger for Running of Limitations Period," as well as in the New York Law Journal, Mealey's Litigation Report: ERISA
The district court agreed with our client, holding that judicial deference must be given to written plan terms regarding the start dates for the commencement of policy limitations periods. The Second Circuit ruled that the Department of Labor (DOL) regulations allow ample time for plan participants to challenge an adverse decision. This case overrules several prior district court decisions, and impacts other jurisdictions because other courts can follow the Second Circuit's rationale, addressing the impact of the DOL regulations on plan prescribed limitation of actions clauses.