April 16, 2013

Supreme Court Resolves Stris & Maher McCutchen Case 5-4

At issue in U.S. Airways, Inc. v. McCutchen was the degree to which certain equitable defenses could limit a plan’s ability to recoup money from a beneficiary. After determining that equitable defenses could be limited by a plan’s language, the Court held that McCutchen’s plan entitled the defendant to obtain recoupment of the monies subject to a “common fund” reduction for the effort McCutchen’s attorney expended in collecting money from the tortfeasor who caused McCutchen’s injuries in the first place.

Related press coverage:
High Court Considers Whether Participant Must Reimburse Health Plan Under ERISA (LexisNexis, November 27, 2012)
Justices Say Courts Can’t Rewrite ERISA Plan Recovery Terms (Law360, April 16, 2013) (subscription required)
High Court ERISA Case Puts Benefit Plans On The Line (Law360, November 21, 2012) (subscription required)
High Court Weighs Equities Under ERISA In US Airways Suit (Law360, November 27, 2012) (subscription required)