Russell v. Catholic Healthcare, UNUM et al.
Year 2014
Court U.S, Court of Appeals, 6th Circuit
Case Number 13-4084
  • Statute of Limitations
  • Ohio

ERISA plan administrators must include a time limit for judicial review (i.e., a statute of limitations to file suit) in a letter denying disability benefits. In the absence of such a notification, contractual limitations cannot be enforced against the participant, as required by federal regulations. After the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Heimeshoff (read UP’s brief here) if a plan administrator’s conduct causes the participant to miss a deadline, waiver or estoppel may prevent the administrator from raising contractual limitations as a defense. UP submitted this amicus curiae brief in support of the policyholder’s petition for rehearing en banc. Since federal law governs disability claims arising under ERISA, UP urged the Court to grant en banc review to assure uniformity in the federal circuit courts with respect to the statute of limitations and judicial review of denied benefits claims under ERISA plans.