Alston & Bird hosted the third session of its three-part webinar series on health care litigation on Monday, April 23, 1pm-2pm. Pat DiCarlo, Michael Fischer and Kimyatta McClary were the featured panelists.
The U.S. Supreme Court handed down a significant ERISA decision in Cigna Corp. v. Amara. Most notably, the Court concluded that plan participants may have an "equitable surcharge" remedy for false disclosures or misstatements under Section 502(a)(3) of ERISA. The Amara decision is significant because an "equitable surcharge" is akin to monetary damages, and the availability of such a remedy increases the incentive for plan participants to sue plan fiduciaries, including health plan administrators. However, the Amara Court did not detail the precise contours of a surcharge claim. The answers to the questions left unanswered by Amara may be found in subsequent lower court opinions, as well as the law of trust that underlies ERISA. This presentation focused on the potential impact of Amara on ERISA litigation involving plan administrators, along with an exploration of:
- the requirements of an equitable surcharge claim;
- defenses available for plan administrators;
- litigation strategies and litigation avoidance; and
- how Amara has been interpreted by lower courts.
To listen to a recording of the seminar, please click here.
April 23, 2012