High Court ERISA Ruling Could Stretch Benefit Plans Thinner

Law360, New York (January 20, 2016, 10:50 PM EST) -- The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that a welfare plan couldn't recover medical payments from a plan participant's third-party settlement under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, a ruling attorneys say could force plan administrators to institute costly measures to track litigation involving beneficiaries to quickly preserve any settlement funds.

In an 8-1 ruling penned by Justice Clarence Thomas, the majority said that the National Elevator Industry Health Benefit Plan couldn't sue plan beneficiary Robert Montanile under ERISA for reimbursement of about $122,000 from a $500,000 settlement he reached with an alleged drunken driver who caused his injuries because the settlement fund...

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