May 25, 2020

May 22, 2020

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Plan Participant Waived Remedy for Untimely Benefits Determination

The Seventh Circuit rejected a disability plan participant’s argument that an untimely decision denying his claim for long-term disability benefits warranted changing the standard of review from arbitrary and capricious to de novo.  In so ruling, the Court explained that had plaintiff filed suit once the time for a timely decision had passed (because his claim was deemed exhausted under applicable regulations), rather than pursue an administrative appeal, the court would have considered an appropriate remedy, e.g., whether the claim should be reviewed de novo.  By pursuing an administrative appeal, the Court concluded that the participant waived his right to a remedy for an untimely decision.  The case is Dragus v. Reliance Standard Life Ins. Co., No. 17-1752, 2018 WL 851164 (7th Cir. Feb. 14, 2018).

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About this Author

Benjamin Flaxenburg, attorney, Proskauer, Louisiana, Employee benefits, executive compensation, labor and employment law

Benjamin O. Flaxenburg is an associate in the Labor & Employment Law Department and a member of the Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation Group.

Prior to joining Proskauer, Ben served as an extern for the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Louisiana and as a judicial extern to the Honorable Nannette Jolivette Brown at the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana. Ben was also a managing editor of the Tulane Maritime Law Journal, a member of the Tulane’s Moot Court Board and...