9th Circ. Flips Axis' Win In Fight Over Northrop's ERISA Deal

Law360 (September 14, 2020, 7:11 PM EDT) -- The Ninth Circuit on Monday upended an order allowing excess insurer Axis Reinsurance Co. to recoup part of what it paid toward Northrop Grumman Corp.'s settlement of an Employee Retirement Income Security Act suit, rejecting Axis' stance that Northrop's lower-level insurers prematurely exhausted their limits.

In a published opinion, a three-judge panel of the appeals court reversed U.S. District Judge Andre Birotte Jr.'s November 2018 ruling that Axis can recover an undisclosed portion of the $9.7 million it paid toward Northrop's underlying ERISA class action settlement.

Judge Birotte had adopted Axis' so-called improper erosion theory and held that the insurer's second-layer...

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