Thursday, August 29, 2013
As we’ve discussed the Supreme Court will soon consider whether ERISA “insurers” can get away with unilaterally imposing time limits on your ability to start a lawsuit against them when they deny your benefit claim. If you want an example of their breathtaking arrogance, get a load of one of their arguments.
Thanks to the "insurers'" efforts over the years, and the courts’ unfortunate acceptance of their pitches, ERISA claimants have the deck stacked against them when they go to court. As relevant here, their ability to conduct discovery and present their case to a court using the usual sorts of evidence and arguments has been vastly limited if not destroyed. In a word claimants’ rights in that connection have been gutted.
And now ERISA “insurers” are arguing to the Supreme Court that, those rights having been thusly gutted, claimants really don’t need much time at all to get their case into court once their claim has been denied. The American Council of Life Insurers, America’s Health Insurance Plans, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, for example, submitted a brief to the Court arguing:
And the Defense Research Institute similarly argued to the Court:
These guys certainly do not lack for chutzpah. Their argument here amounts to: since we've gutted the claimant's ability to conduct discovery or investigation, and reduced their day in court to a judicial rubber stamp, claimants don't need much time at all to don their blindfolds and line up against the wall.
Posted by Rich at 2:23 PM