Articles Posted in ERISA

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After Respondent resigned as executive director of the Chamber of Commerce, he filed a complaint against the Chamber, alleging violations of the Wage Payment and Collection Law, among other claims. After a jury trial, the court entered judgment against the Chamber. Respondent subsequently filed a motion for an award of attorneys' fees under the Wage Payment and Collection Law. The circuit court denied Respondent's motion on remand after applying a fee-shifting analysis from ERISA cases. The court of special appeals reversed the denial of the motion, holding that the circuit court erred in applying the ERISA factors. The Court of Appeals affirmed, holding that because ERISA and the Wage Payment and Collection Law serve distinct purposes and because their fee-shifting provisions are based on different principles, a trial court should not employ the ERISA fee-shifting test in deciding whether to award attorneys' fees. View "Ocean City Chamber of Commerce v. Barufaldi" on Justia Law

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CareFirst, Inc., a nonstock, nonprofit Maryland corporation, is a holding company with two subsidiaries that provides health insurance for millions of Maryland residents. State law confers broad authority on the Maryland Insurance Commissioner to oversee its operation and adherence to its mission. This case arose from the termination of Leon Kaplan, a former executive of CareFirst. CareFirst declined to pay part of the post-termination compensation set forth in Kaplan's employment contract, reasoning that the compensation was not for "work actually performed," as that standard had been interpreted by the Commissioner. The Commissioner affirmed the decision not to pay the benefits, concluding that the payments would violate Md. Code Ann. Ins. 14-139. The Court of Appeals affirmed, holding (1) the Commissioner's determination was not preempted by ERISA; (2) the Commissioner's construction of the insurance code was legally correct; and (3) there was substantial evidence to support the Commissioner's determination in this case. View "Md. Ins. Comm'r. v. Kaplan" on Justia Law