District Court Issues Opinion Remanding Lawsuit to Plan Administrator to Address Procedural Issues

In the opinion of Criss v. Assurant Inc., Judge William Acker Jr., of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Alabama, found that remand to a Plan Administrator was appropriate where the Defendant had not made adequate finding regarding the plaintiff’s physical limitations.  Calling into question ERISA’s quasi-administrative regime, Judge Acker noted the inherent conflict when a Plan Administrator has been granted discretion to make its own determinations under the Plan document.  Judge Acker also called into question various aspects of the policies definitions contending perhaps that some definitions of “disabled,” as contained in the document, were incapable of actually being determined.  The lawyers at Burke Harvey were pleased that their client now has the prospect of having her claim being  reassessed under judicial scrutiny.

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