1st Circ. ERISA Benefit Ruling Misapplies Review Standard

Law360 (September 23, 2020, 1:51 PM EDT) -- How should federal courts conduct a de novo review of Employee Retirement Income Security Act benefit claims? One approach was delineated by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit in 2009 in Krolnik v. Prudential Insurance Company of America.[1]

There, the court pronounced the phrase "de novo review" as "misleading" and explained the de novo review standard contemplated by the U.S. Supreme Court in Firestone Tire & Rubber Co. v. Bruch[2] in 1989 is "not 'review' of any kind; it is an independent decision rather than 'review.'"[3]

Krolnik mandated, based on the authority of Firestone, that ERISA litigation under...

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