(The Return of) Ignatz, by Sam Heldman

Wednesday, July 31, 2002

ERISA preemption and the tort of bad faith refusal to pay A few years ago, this issue was all the rage, particularly at Judge Acker's motion docket: does ERISA preempt Alabama's tort of bad faith refusal to pay insurance benefits? The Eleventh Circuit kept saying "yes", but that answer never quite satisfied some of us. Recently, the Alabama Supreme Court (wisely, I think) declined an invitation to get into a fight with the Circuit on this, on a certified question; this was Palmore v. First Union, June 28 2002, though I can't find it on Findlaw to link to. (The Alabama Supreme Court recognized that the real issues were federal, not state, law, so it couldn't really tell the Circuit what to do on this question). Now, again thanks to law.com, is an article noting new caselaw in Pennsylvania that will give new inspiration to those fighting against ERISA preemption; a judge there has ruled that state's bad faith statute not preempted, in light of more recent Supreme Court cases.

posted by sam 6:17 AM 0 comments


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