A New Breed of ERISA Plaintiffs?

Benefits Magazine
10.26.15
In this article, Michael Khalil and Nicholas Wamsley discuss the expanding class of plaintiffs seeking to file civil claims under ERISA. The authors discuss some of the new theories being tested by the plaintiffs' bar, and the problems with those theories. "Why are these new players -- particularly those with a profit motive -- appearing with more frequency in recent years? The blame may fall on two recent Supreme Court cases that, plaintiffs' lawyers have been contending, sweetened the pot for plaintiffs that prevail under ERISA," the authors said. "ERISA's purpose weighs heavily in courts' decisions to refuse to hear a claim brought by someone other than an enumerated party. Exceptions to this rule are rare and, while new classes of plaintiffs appear unafraid to test the boundaries of ERISA's civil relief provisions, courts are generally cognizant that they should limit relief under ERISA to those who Congress believed required statutory protection."
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A New Breed of ERISA Plaintiffs?