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Your ERISA Watch – Courts Find Discovery of Independent Physician Consultants’ Financial Conflict Permissible in Absence of Structural Conflict

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This week’s notable decision is a firm victory in a discovery dispute involving a self-funded long-term disability plan, Chacko v. AT&T Umbrella Benefit Plan No. 3, No. 2:19-CV-01837-JAM-DB, 2020 WL 1984171 (E.D. Cal. Apr. 27, 2020).

Before going into the decision, I want to take a step back to discuss the Ninth Circuit’s decision in Demer v. IBM Corporation LTD Plan, 835 F.3d 893 (9th Cir. 2016). Demer alleged that there was (1) a structural conflict of interest since MetLife both decided claims for the disability plan and was responsible for paying those claims; and (2) at least two of the doctors that MetLife hired to review the medical records “have performed a significant number of reviews for MetLife and have received significant compensation for their services.” Demer, 835 F.3d at 900. The court then analyzed these two areas of conflict separately: the structural conflict of interest and the financial conflict of independent physician consultants. Id. at 900-903. With respect to the latter, the Ninth Circuit explained that this conflict of interest is distinct from the purported structural conflict of interest. “The lack of any structural conflict of interest on the part of MetLife does not preclude MetLife from having a conflict of interest based on an [Independent Physician Consultant’s] financial interests . . . Even if MetLife operated with no structural conflict, reliance on the reports of its retained experts who have a financial incentive to make findings favorable to MetLife may warrant skepticism.” Demer, 835 F.3d at 901–02.

Fast forward. In Chacko, the district court ruled on Chacko’s request for reconsideration of the Magistrate Judge’s determination to deny any conflict of interest discovery. As reported in ERISA Watch two weeks ago, in Chacko v. AT&T Umbrella Benefit Plan No. 3, No. 2:19-cv-1837 JAM DB (E.D. Cal. Mar. 13, 2020), Magistrate Judge Barnes granted, in part, Plaintiff’s motion to compel discovery responses and ordered the AT&T Umbrella Benefit Plan No. 3 (“the Plan”) to respond to discovery requests seeking the complete administrative record. Judge Barnes denied all conflict-of-interest discovery, finding that there is no conflict of interest where the Plan delegates decision making to Sedgwick, relying on Day v. AT&T Disability Income Plan, 698 F.3d 1091 (9th Cir. 2012). In rejecting Plaintiff’s reliance on Demer, Judge Barnes explained: “That is not to say that discovery is never permissible. However, plaintiff has presented nothing to show even the appearance of a conflict of interest which would justify conflict-of-interest discovery.”

On March 26, 2020, I filed a request for reconsideration by the district judge. The request argued three main points: (1) Chacko is not required to make a showing of conflict of interest to justify discovery; (2) the discovery order misconstrues Demer which justifies certain conflict of interest discovery even in the absence of a structural conflict; and (3) Chacko’s requested discovery going to the Plan’s retained expert’s financial conflict is permissible. As appellate counsel for Demer, I also attached discovery responses from the case, the same responses upon which the Ninth Circuit relied to find that Demer satisfied his burden of producing evidence of a financial conflict sufficient to warrant a degree of skepticism. The Ninth Circuit’s decision did not discuss how this information was obtained in the case. The request for reconsideration argued that Demer could only satisfy his burden through discovery, the same discovery that the court denied Chacko.

Then on April 14, 2020, as reported in last week’s ERISA Watch, Magistrate Judge Jacqueline Scott Corley issued a discovery decision in Dimry v. Bert Bell/Pete Rozelle NFL Player Ret. Plan, No. 19-CV-05360-JSC, 2020 WL 1865192 (N.D. Cal. Apr. 14, 2020), wherein the court granted Dimry’s request for documents/information relevant to whether the physicians who opined on Dimry’s disability had a financial conflict of interest that warrants the court giving “some skepticism” to the Plan’s disability determination. Based on Demer, the court was persuaded that even in the absence of a structural conflict the NFL Plan should produce its agreements with the independent physicians as those agreements might reveal a financial incentive to rule in favor of the of the NFL Plan. Of course, we immediately filed a notice of recent decision in Chacko alerting the court to this helpful discovery order on the precise issue under reconsideration.

On April 27, 2020, the district court issued an order granting in part and denying in part Chacko’s request for reconsideration. Though Chacko did not seek reconsideration of the denial of conflict-of-interest discovery concerning the relationship between the Plan and its third-party administrator, Sedgwick, the court determined that the Magistrate Judge’s denial of this discovery was not clearly erroneous or contrary to law.

The court did agree with Chacko that the denial of financial conflict-of-interest discovery concerning the independent physician consultants applies too narrow of a reading of Demer, that it runs contrary to law to distinguish Demer from this matter simply because the insurer in Demer had an underlying structural conflict of interest. Demer placed the burden on the plaintiff to produce evidence of conflict. The court found persuasive the argument that had Demer not been permitted to engage in discovery, he would not have been able to meet the evidentiary burden concerning a conflict of interest at the summary judgment stage. The court then cited to a few decisions where courts within the Ninth Circuit have allowed discovery of potential independent physician consultant’s financial conflicts, including Wojno v. Cigna Grp. Ins., No. cv 10-07238-JAK JEMX, 2011 WL 3236025, at *2 (C.D Cal. July 21, 2011); Wilcox v. Wells Fargo and Co. Long Term Disability Plan, 287 F. App’x 602, 603 (9th Cir. 2008); Dimry v. Bert Bell/Pete Rozelle NFL Retirement Plan, et al., No. 19-CV-05560-JSC, 2020 WL 1865192 (N.D. Cal. Apr. 14, 2020). For these reasons, the court granted Chacko’s motion to compel discovery of a potential financial conflict of the independent physician consultant.

Plaintiff Chacko is represented by Kantor & Kantor attorneys, Michelle Roberts and Zoya Yarnykh.

Below is a summary of this past week’s notable ERISA decisions by subject matter and jurisdiction.

Discovery

First Circuit

Shields v. United of Omaha Life Ins. Co., No. 2:19-CV-00448-GZS, 2020 WL 1956811 (D. Me. Apr. 23, 2020) (Magistrate Judge John H. Rich III). Plaintiff filed suit against United of Omaha for denying her claim for life insurance benefits. Plaintiff sought discovery under de novo review. In the First Circuit, “courts have permitted only modest, specifically targeted discovery. . .where the challenge is not the merits of the decision to deny benefits, but to the procedure used to reach the decision . . . or to explain a key item.” Plaintiff sought discovery regarding information on what agents of United did with certain critical documents related to her husband’s insurability; namely, whether they ever shared the information they obtained, and/or whether anybody else at United made an effort to confirm that the participants paying for heightened insurance coverage were actually “qualified” to receive it, and if not, why not. The court found that Plaintiff’s ability to prove her claim of waiver may rely on her ability to ascertain the requested discovery. Noted that binding authority boils down to “whether and in what respect the information sought to be discovered ‘matters’,” the court found that Plaintiff met the heightened standard for the allowance of discovery in an ERISA case.

Ninth Circuit

Chacko v. AT&T Umbrella Benefit Plan No. 3, No. 2:19-CV-01837-JAM-DB, 2020 WL 1984171 (E.D. Cal. Apr. 27, 2020) (Judge John A. Mendez). See Notable Decision summary above.

ERISA Preemption

Third Circuit

S.M.A. Med., Inc. v. UnitedHealth Grp., Inc., No. CV 19-6038, 2020 WL 1912215 (E.D. Pa. Apr. 20, 2020) (Judge J. Joyner). Plaintiff S.M.A. is a business that performs medical testing on specimens provided by doctors. Defendant UnitedHealth Group insures individuals who sometimes have testing done. Prior to 2015, UnitedHealth timely paid claims submitted by S.M.A. as an out-of-network provider. Abruptly UnitedHealth stopped paying any claims submitted by S.M.A., giving various excuses. S.M.A. brought state law claims against UnitedHealthcare, who attempted to remove the case to federal court based on federal question jurisdiction because it reasoned ERISA should govern the matter. The court remanded the case back to state court, reasoning that S.M.A.’s claims were not based on an interpretation of plan language but rather UnitedHealth’s misrepresentations to S.M.A.

Fourth Circuit

Port City Neurosurgery & Spine, PC v. BCBS North Carolina, Case No. 19-cv-948, 2020 WL 1904774 (M.D.N.C. Apr. 17, 2020) (Judge Loretta C. Biggs). Port City Neurosurgery & Spine, PC initiated this action in state court against BCBS of North Carolina (BCBSNC) seeking “a declaratory judgment . . . regarding Defendant’s obligations under N.C. Gen. Stat. § 58-3-190,” a state statute that provides that every insurer “shall provide coverage for emergency services to the extent necessary to screen and to stabilize the person covered under the plan and shall not require prior authorization of the services if a prudent layperson . . . would have believed that an emergency medical condition existed.” Applying the Davila preemption test to Plaintiff’s claim, the Court held that (1) because this action does not require clarifying any patient’s rights to future ERISA benefits, it falls outside the scope of 502(a); (2) Defendant failed to carry its burden of demonstrating that Port City has standing to assert its action as a 502(a) claim; and (3) Plaintiff’s claims can be resolved without interpreting an ERISA plan as § 58-3-190, creates an independent legal duty by which Defendant must abide. The matter was remanded to state court and Defendant’s motion for judgment on the pleadings was dismissed.

Eleventh Circuit

Grooms v. Asplundh Tree Expert, LLC, No. 2:19CV597-MHT, 2020 WL 1939350 (M.D. Ala. Apr. 22, 2020) (Judge Myron H. Thompson). Plaintiff filed this lawsuit in Alabama state court asserting against Defendants a state claim of fraudulent concealment based on his former employer’s termination of his employment without first telling him. In the complaint, Plaintiff contends that, had he known that he had been terminated and had as a result lost his health insurance coverage, he would not have undertaken a risky activity that ended with injuries and attendant medical bills. Defendants removed the case to this federal court, arguing that Plaintiff’s claim is completely preempted by ERISA, so that this court has subject-matter jurisdiction over the case. Plaintiff filed a motion for remand, and the court concluded that the motion should be granted because Defendants failed to meet their burden of showing that Plaintiff could have brought his claim under ERISA §502(a)(1)(B). The complaint does not contend that Defendants terminated him “for exercising any right to which he is entitled under the provisions of an employee benefit plan,…or for the purpose of interfering” with his obtaining plan benefits. Thus, Plaintiff’s claim was not akin to a claim of wrongful termination under ERISA.

Life Insurance & AD&D Benefit Claims

Seventh Circuit

Murchison v. Reliance Standard Life Ins. Co., No. 119CV01028JDBJAY, 2020 WL 1962987 (W.D. Tenn. Apr. 23, 2020) (District Judge Daniel Breen). Plaintiff Rickie Murchison had an employer-sponsored accidental death benefit under insurance policies issues by Reliance Standard. The policy contained an exclusion for losses “to which sickness, disease, or myocardial infarction, including medical or surgical treatment thereof, is a contributing factor; or … to which the Insured’s acute or chronic alcoholic intoxication is a contributing factor; or … to which the Insured’s voluntary consumption of an illegal or controlled substance or a non-prescribed narcotic or drug is a contributing factor.” Mr. Murchison was ATV riding with friends, and had allegedly been shooting at targets with guns and drinking around the same time. Mr. Murchinson apparently missed one of his targets, instead shooting his friend in the arm. While his friend left to seek medical attention, Mr. Murchinson stayed behind and continued to ride. Mr. Murchinson was found dead the next morning. The medical examiner believed that he lost control of his ATV, ran into a tree, and likely was crushed under the ATV. His BAC levels were estimated to be .14%. Standard denied the accidental death claim, noting that his alcohol intoxication plus hydrocodone in his system justified a conclusion that “acute or chronic alcoholic intoxication” was a contributing factor to his death, and thus excluded under the policy.

The court concluded that Reliance’s determination was arbitrary and capricious. (The parties disputed the proper standard of review, but as the court concluded that the decision was unreasonable under the more stringent standard of review, it need not make a conclusion about the proper standard.) It pointed out that there must be some evidence of the role of alcohol or medication in such a loss, beyond merely the insured’s intoxicated state, to justify the applicability if such an exclusion. It noted that not only did it fail to provide non-speculative evidence such as eyewitness accounts which would act as such a justification—its only expert opined that it was not reasonable to opine that the consumption of drugs and/or alcohol was a contributing factor in the loss. Instead, he concluded that it was merely a “risk factor.” The court rejected Reliance’s attempt to conflate “risk factor” with “contributing factor,” finding that “in the face of unequivocal advice from its only expert that it could not rely on the toxicology report alone without more information, Defendant did exactly that. Such an action was unreasonable.”

Medical Benefit Claims

Fifth Circuit

Experience Infusion Centers LLC v. AAA Texas LLC, et al., No. 4:19-CV-01692, 2020 WL 1915633 (S.D. Tex. Apr. 20, 2020) (Judge Charles Eskridge). Defendant requested summary judgment in a medical benefits case in which Plaintiff seeks benefits by assignment from the patient. The court found that Defendant AAA was not liable because it is neither the ERISA plan entity nor an entity that controlled the Plan. The court found there was genuine dispute of material fact of this issue. Plaintiff also requested discovery under Rule 56(d) to depose Defendant’s agents and review plan documents. The court found that Plaintiff did not allege that AAA exercised control over the plan and Plaintiff did not provide any document with AAA Texas’s name on it. The court concluded that further discovery will not provide evidence creating a genuine issue of material fact. The court granted the motion.

Seventh Circuit

Anchor Health Sys. v. Radowski, et al., Cause No. 2:16-CB-65-TLS, 2020 WL 1956439 (N.D. Ind. Apr. 22, 2020) (Judge Theresa L. Springmann). Defendants filed Motions for Summary Judgment wherein the fundamental issue was whether Plaintiff, Anchor Health Systems, Inc., is entitled to reimbursement under various health insurance plans for the medical services it provided to Grace Radowski. The United Food & Commercial Workers Union & Employers Calumet Region Insurance Fund (“Calfund”) argued that the services were custodial and therefore excluded from coverage. The City of Hammond and Professional Claims Management, Inc. (“City Defendants”) argue that the City’s health insurance plan is not subject to ERISA. The court held that (1) based upon Grace’s medical condition, the board of trustees could have reasonably concluded that the Plaintiff’s medical services were “part of a maintenance treatment plan not reasonably expected to improve the patient’s condition, sickness, injury or functional ability;” (2) the city insurance plan governing the claims at issue are not subject to ERISA; and (3) the Court declined to exercise supplemental jurisdiction over Plaintiff’s state law breach of contract claims against the City Defendants and Dennis Radowski.

Tenth Circuit

Julian B. v. Regence Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Utah, No. 2:19-CV-471-TC, 2020 WL 1955222 (D. Utah Apr. 23, 2020) (Judge Tena Campbell). Defendant Regence Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Utah (“Regence”) denied minor S.B.’s claim for coverage for mental health services at a residential treatment facility. Regence reasoned that residential treatment was not medically necessary because the same mental health services could be provided as an outpatient. Parents of S.B. brought this lawsuit asserting (1) a claim for benefits due under ERISA, (2) violations of the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity (MHPAEA), and (3) statutory penalties for refusing to provide plan documents. Regence filed a motion to dismiss the MHPAEA and statutory penalty claims. The court agreed with Regence that Plaintiffs had not identified language in the plan that was more restrictive for mental health treatment than treatment of a physical medical issue, and dismissed the MHPAEA claim. For the statutory penalties claim, Plaintiffs alleged they requested the plan documents from Regence, the claim administrator. Plaintiffs argued that Regence, the third-party administrator for the plan, acted as agent for the plan administrator. Whether Regence did act as agent for the plan administrator is a question of fact, so Plaintiffs claim for penalties remains in the case.

William B. v. Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey, No. 2:17-CV-01331-EJF, 2020 WL 1915906 (D. Utah Apr. 20, 2020) (Judge Evelyn J. Furse). The parties brought cross-motions for summary judgment in a case concerning coverage for residential treatment at two facilities, Elevations and Heritage. The court found that the plan delegated the authority to make final claims determinations and decide initial and final appeals. The court found this language qualifies as a delegation of discretionary authority and reviewed the decisions under an arbitrary and capricious review. The court found that Horizon’s adoption of the IRO’s opinion regarding Elevations was not indicative of procedural irregularity but rather indicative of good faith participation in the appeals process. The court found the records support Horizon’s conclusion that residential treatment was no longer medically necessary because he demonstrated remarkable improvement and no longer displayed aggressive behaviors. The court applied Horizon’s Beacon Health guidelines. Regarding Heritage, Plaintiff argued that Horizon did not respond to the first level appeal until well into litigation. The court concluded there was confusion regarding the appeal due to two parallel appeal tracks—one for the provider and one for the beneficiary. Also, Horizon admitted error in sending a letter purporting to deny the appeal when the letter read like an initial denial. Regardless, the court found that the plaintiff received two reviews and Horizon substantially complied with the plan and ERISA. The court found that Horizon applied the wrong Beach Health criteria (i.e. applying adult criteria to a child) for the first appeal but the level two appeal went to an IRO who applied the plan criteria and generally accepted standards of medical practice. The court concluded that Plaintiff could have been safely treated at a lower level of care and Horizon did not abuse its discretion in denying coverage for residential treatment. The court granted Horizon and the Plan’s motions for summary judgment.

Pension Benefit Claims

Fourth Circuit

Parsons v. Bd. of Trustees of Boilermaker-Blacksmith Nat’l Pension Tr., No. 2:20-CV-00132, 2020 WL 1917338 (S.D.W. Va. Apr. 20, 2020) (Judge Irene C. Berger). On this motion to dismiss, Defendant argues Plaintiff, former spouse of the now deceased participant, is not entitled to any benefits because husband was not married at the time he commenced benefits and did not elect a survivor annuity. Plaintiff argued the divorce decree constituted a qualified domestic relations order (“QDRO”) and Defendant’s legal counsel agreed it was a QDRO. The QDRO granted her all benefits husband was entitled to at the time of the divorce. Because the plan has an automatic form of payment for married participants of 50% joint and survivor annuity, Plaintiff claims she is entitled to the benefits that were payable at the time of the divorce, i.e. the 50% survivor annuity, rather than benefits based on husband’s election at the time of benefit commencement. The court agreed, finding the language enough to meet the requirements of ERISA § 206(d)(3) and explicitly granted Plaintiff all benefits to which husband was entitled to, including the 50% survivor annuity.

Ninth Circuit

Beier v. Int’l Bhd. of Teamsters, No. 18-CV-06632-JD, 2020 WL 1929225 (N.D. Cal. Apr. 21, 2020) (Judge James Donato). Plaintiffs, United Airlines mechanics and teamsters union members, brought suit challenging the way the retirement benefit options were handled in the bankruptcy proceedings in 2002. The court dismissed all of Plaintiffs’ ERISA claims because the determination of these claims turns on the interpretation of collective bargaining agreements. The court noted the enactment of ERISA did not modify the Railway Labor Act-mandated boards which is the exclusive avenue for resolving disputes regarding rates of pay, rules or working conditions.

Pleading Issues & Procedure

Third Circuit

Aabdollah v. FirstEnergy Corp., No. CV1917851MASLHG, 2020 WL 1905165 (D.N.J. Apr. 17, 2020) (Judge Michael A. Shipp). In this dispute brought by a pro se plaintiff, the court reviewed its docket after Defendants removed the matter from superior court and ordered the Defendants to show cause why this case should not be dismissed for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. Plaintiff appears to be enforcing a contract dispute from a settlement agreement he entered with Defendants after an earlier lawsuit that he filed. The court noted that a federal court does not have jurisdiction over a settlement agreement just because it settles a federal cause of action. FirstEnergy did not explain how enforcement of the agreement would require construction and application of ERISA. Even though the parties consented to removal, consent is not relevant to the court’s jurisdiction.

Fifth Circuit

Soileau & Associates, LLC v. Louisiana Health Serv. & Indem. Co., No. CV 18-710-WBV-JCW, 2020 WL 1969984 (E.D. La. Apr. 23, 2020) (J. Wendy B. Vitter). Plaintiffs sued the insurer of an ERISA-governed medical benefit plan, seeking the payment of benefits for treatment received by a minor. Before trial, Defendant filed a motion in limine, seeking to prohibit plaintiffs from offering testimony at trial from their seven expert witnesses, most of whom were physicians who had treated the minor. The court granted Defendant’s motion, finding that none of the proposed testimony from Plaintiffs’ experts fell within the Fifth Circuit’s narrow exception for expert evidence allowed in ERISA benefit cases. The court observed that Plaintiffs were attempting impermissibly to introduce new evidence from outside the administrative record regarding the merits of their claim for benefits. The court further ruled that Plaintiffs’ experts were not qualified to provide testimony regarding Defendant’s compliance with ERISA regulations, its interpretation of the contract, or its conflict of interest in deciding claims under the plan.

Venue

Tenth Circuit

Anthony F. v. Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield, No. 2:19-CV-00183-HCN-PMW, 2020 WL 1939134 (D. Utah Apr. 22, 2020) (J. Howard C. Nielson, Jr.). Plaintiffs were participants in an ERISA-governed medical benefit plan who sought benefits for the treatment of their child at two sub-acute behavioral and mental health treatment centers. Plaintiffs resided in Pennsylvania, the defendant insurer was headquartered in Pennsylvania, and the treatment centers at issue were in Utah and Vermont. Plaintiffs sued in Utah, after which Defendant filed a motion to transfer venue to Pennsylvania. Defendant argued that the administration of the plan had no connection to Utah, any relevant documents and witnesses were not located in Utah, and the court docket in Pennsylvania was less congested than the court docket in Utah. The court denied Defendant’s motion, finding that Plaintiffs’ child had treated in Utah for over a year, and noting Plaintiffs’ desire to litigate the matter in Utah due to the “sensitive nature of the medical treatment involving a minor.” The court also did not see a significant difference in the docket congestion of the two districts. As a result, Plaintiffs’ “connection is sufficient to warrant deference to Plaintiffs’ decision to litigate here.”

Withdrawal Liability & Unpaid Contributions

Second Circuit

The National Retirement Fund v. Intercontinental Hotels Group Resources, LLC, No. 1:19-CV-8018-GHW, 2020 WL 1922755 (S.D.N.Y. Apr. 21, 2020) (Judge Gregory H. Woods). “[T]he Court is limited to assessing whether NRF has plausibly alleged a breach of the Trust Agreement, pending the arbitrator’s final decision on the merits. By plausibly alleging that the Fund’s Trust Agreement provided that an employer’s failure to respond to an information request constitutes a default and that IHG failed to respond to an information request, NRF has adequately pleaded its acceleration claim. Accordingly, IHG’s partial motion to dismiss is DENIED.”

Trustees Of The New York City District Council Of Carpenters Pension Fund, Welfare Fund, Annuity Fund, And Apprenticeship, Journeyman Retraining, Educational, And Industry Fund, et al. v. W.W. Timbers, Inc., No. 19 CIV. 6132 (ER), 2020 WL 1922374 (S.D.N.Y. Apr. 21, 2020) (Judge Edgardo Ramos). “Plaintiff’s motion is GRANTED. The arbitration award is confirmed, and the Clerk of the Court is directed to enter judgment in favor of the petitioners in the amount of $14,458.28 pursuant to the award, plus interest accruing at the annual rate of 7.5% from February 11, 2019 until the date of entry of judgment. The Clerk is also directed to add $797.50 in attorney’s fees, and $75 in costs.”

Fourth Circuit

National Electrical Benefit Fund v. Wire To Water Electric Of New York, Inc., No. CV TDC-19-3003, 2020 WL 1933625 (D. Md. Apr. 21, 2020) (Magistrate Judge Charles B. Day). The Magistrate Judge recommended that the court grant Plaintiff’s Motion for Default Judgment against Defendant and award Plaintiff a total of $30,001.20. $20,649.07 for unpaid contributions; $3,027.41 in interest, $4,129.82 in liquidated damages, $450.00 in audit costs, and $1,744.90 in attorneys’ fees and costs.

Sixth Circuit

Detroit Carpenters Fringe Benefit Funds v. Crawford Pile Driving, LLC, No. CV 18-10932, 2020 WL 1952525 (E.D. Mich. Apr. 23, 2020) (Judge Linda V. Parker). The court granted Plaintiff’s Motion for Summary Judgment. Defendants are liable to Plaintiff for unpaid contributions in the total amount of $190,892.19, pursuant to § 1132(g)(2)(A); for interest on the unpaid contributions in the total amount of $63,318.72, pursuant to § 1132(g)(2)(B); for an amount equal to the interest on the unpaid contributions totaling $63,318.72, pursuant to § 1132(g)(2)(C); and for attorneys’ fees and costs, pursuant to § 1132(g)(2)(D).

Boards of Trustees of Ohio Laborers Benefits v. L.A. Williams Constr. LLC, No. 2:19-CV-2033, 2020 WL 1956876 (S.D. Ohio Apr. 23, 2020) (Judge Edmund A. Sargus, Jr.). The court granted Plaintiff’s Motion for Default Judgment and ordered Defendant “to pay the following: (i) $23,589.94 in delinquent contributions for May, August, October and December of 2017 and for June of 2018 through December of 2018; (ii) $6,192.64 in liquidated damages and interest; (iii) $4,425.00 in attorney’s fees; (iv) $400 in court costs; and (v) interest on the unpaid contributions in the amount of one percent per month for as along as such contributions remain unpaid.”

Your ERISA Watch is made possible by the collaboration of the following Kantor & Kantor attorneys:  Brent Dorian Brehm, Sarah DemersElizabeth GreenAndrew Kantor, Monica Lienke, Susan Meter, Michelle RobertsTim Rozelle, Peter Sessions, and Zoya Yarnykh.

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