January 20, 2016
United States Supreme Court Win for Stris & Maher in Insurance Case
This morning, the United States Supreme Court released its opinion in Montanile v. Board of Trustees of the National Elevator Industry Health Benefit Plan, No. 14- 723, an important employee-benefits case. In an 8-1 opinion authored by Justice Clarence Thomas, we prevailed. Opinion
Peter Stris argued the case in November. Radha Pathak served as counsel of record and led a team of Stris & Maher LLP lawyers in briefing the case. (Oral Argument Audio | Our Merits Brief | Our Reply)
The legal question presented by Montanile is one of extraordinary importance to millions of Americans who receive health insurance, disability benefits, or pensions through their employers. We represent a single father who was injured badly in a car accident and spent the third-party settlement he obtained supporting his young daughter. Fiduciaries of his welfare benefit plan sued him, seeking to attach his general assets in an amount equal to the benefits he had received. Adopting the position advanced by our firm and the United States, the Court held that, under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA), fiduciaries may not reach the non-traceable general assets of plan participants who have spent such disputed funds.