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Remand under ERISA?

Although most people have never heard of it, the Employee Retirement income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) is a very important statute that can significantly impact their rights.  In most cases, ERISA applies to employer sponsored benefit claims, like health, life, short term disability, and long-term disability.

In our Blog, we have addressed many topics under ERISA.  The theme of those posts is almost always the same.  If you have a claim under ERISA (or that may be covered by ERISA) it is important to know your rights, and the procedures that apply.  In most cases, a qualified ERISA attorney can help.

ERISA attorneys are at the forefront of the ongoing battle to improve the statute, and to get more and more workers access to the benefits they need (and have earned).  A recent example.  For years, Courts have assumed that ERISA authorizes them to "remand" a case back to the insurance company when it decides the denial of benefits was improper.  In other words, forcing the employee to start over!!!   Nevertheless, a recent concurrence in Card v. Principal Life Insurance Company, 2021 U.S. App. LEXIS 32599 (6th Cir. Nov. 2, 2021), suggests some judges are starting to question that remedy.   In that case, the concurrence questioned why a private litigant (there, the plan administrator) would get a second bite at the apple via a remand rather than have the district court supervise additional litigation using normal rules of civil procedure.  A good question, and one that should be raised in every ERISA case!