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Robert McKennon and Stephanie Talavera Publish Article in the Los Angeles Daily Journal: “Ruling Addresses When A Third-party Acts as ERISA Fiduciary”

ERISA protects employees from abuse of their employer-sponsored benefit plans by establishing procedural protections and codifying fiduciary relationships. Under ERISA, plan fiduciaries must administer the plan in accordance with their duties of loyalty and prudence. While the employer who formed the plan is always a fiduciary under ERISA, other parties, such as the insurer or claims administrator, may become fiduciaries through certain conduct. When insurers have discretion to deny benefits under an ERISA plan, they are typically considered claims fiduciaries. In the April 6, 2018 edition of the Los Angeles Daily Journal, Robert J. McKennon and Stephanie L. Talavera of the McKennon Law Group PC discuss a recent Ninth Circuit case that outlines the role that employers and other fiduciaries play under ERISA to “ensure that employees will not be left empty-handed.” In an article entitled “Ruling Addresses When A Third-party Acts as ERISA Fiduciary,” McKennon and Talavera evaluate the effect of the new Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals case, Santomenno v. Transamerica Life Ins. Co., 883 F.3d 833 (9th Cir. 2018), and explain how the decision’s effect is limited, but still underscores the ever-more important role that breach of fiduciary duty claims play in ERISA.

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