Practice Areas & Industries: Marshall Dennehey Warner Coleman & Goggin, P.C.


Life, Health and Disability Litigation Return to Practice Areas & Industries

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Practice/Industry Group Overview

Marshall Dennehey Warner Coleman & Goggin's Life, Health and Disability Practice Group is dedicated to the representation of insurers and employers in the complex and sharply defined field of life and health litigation.

Our group's attorneys are knowledgeable in the complex field of ERISA litigation, including issues of preemption and removal of state court actions in general, scope and standard of review, effect of different plan wordings and, in particular, recent developments regarding structural conflicts in plan administration, attorney fee awards and scope of the administrative record.

The group also coordinates with the firm's Insurance Coverage/Bad Faith Practice Group for its handling of complex life insurance disputes. The group represents the industry, both with respect to the handling of these claims and in the errors and omissions market for claims against program providers alleging mishandling of claims. The group also draws from the experience of the firm's Securities and Investments Professional Liability Practice Group with respect to the defense of life, health and disability brokers and agents in errors and omissions claims.

The Life, Health and Disability Group's chair, Eric Fitzgerald, Esquire, devotes his practice exclusively to the representation of insurers and self-insureds with respect to insurance coverage disputes. Eric is a National Governor in the Chartered Property Casualty Underwriters (CPCU) Society. He is also matriculated with the American College for attainment of his Casualty Life Underwriter (CLU) designation. Please feel free to contact Eric with any questions or if you would like a presentation on cutting edge developments in the life, health and disability field for your claims staff.

The Life, Health and Disability Practice Group of Marshall Dennehey Warner Coleman & Goggin serves clients in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Tampa, Orlando, Jacksonville, Ft. Lauderdale and communities throughout Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Ohio, Florida and New York.


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Articles Authored by Lawyers at this office:

House Bill 373 Enacted to Control the Level of Workers’ Compensation Insurance Premiums by Making Significant Changes in the Medical Reimbursements Allowable Under the Healthcare Payment System
Paul V. Tatlow, August 06, 2014
This Act makes substantial changes to Titles 18 and 19 of the Delaware Code designed to control the level of workers’ compensation premiums in Delaware. The most significant changes are: (a) a 33% reduction in medical costs to the workers’ compensation system, phased in over a period of...

Courts Differ on Healthcare Reform
Mark L. Mattioli, July 26, 2014
Yesterday, two separate courts of appeals rendered contrary decisions on whether the subsidy provision of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) applies in states that have opted not to run their own insurance exchanges. Cur­rently, only 14 states have established their own exchanges, while 36 states,...

Opening the Floodgates for Runaway Jury Verdicts? Florida Supreme Court Declares Caps on Noneconomic Damages Unconstitutional in Medical Malpractice Wrongful Death Litigation
Chanel A. Mosley, June 04, 2014
On March 13, 2014, the Florida Supreme Court declared unconstitutional the caps on damages applicable to wrongful death claims in a medical malpractice cause of action. Estate of McCall v. United States, 2014 Fla. LEXIS 933 (Mar. 13, 2014). In a 5-2 ruling, Justice R. Fred Lewis wrote the opinion...

Opening the Floodgates for Runaway Jury Verdicts? Florida Supreme Court Declares Caps on Noneconomic Damages Unconstitutional in Medical Malpractice Wrongful Death Litigation
Chanel A. Mosley, May 29, 2014
On March 13, 2014, the Florida Supreme Court declared unconstitutional the caps on damages applicable to wrongful death claims in a medical malpractice cause of action. Estate of McCall v. United States, 2014 Fla. LEXIS 933 (Mar. 13, 2014). In a 5-2 ruling, Justice R. Fred Lewis wrote the opinion...

Feds Are Serious About Data Security
Mark L. Mattioli,David J. Shannon, April 22, 2014
In what could be a landmark ruling in the data breach legal field, a New Jersey district court recently ruled that the FTC's lawsuit against Wyndham Hotels for unfair and deceptive trade practices related to a major data breach could proceed. Although the breach did not happen in a health care...

Patients’ Right To Access Records Of Health Care Facility/Provider Relating To Adverse Medical Incident Not Limited To Only Records Pertaining To Same/Similar Condition, Treatment Or Diagnosis As Patient Requesting Access
Chanel A. Mosley, March 28, 2014
Known as “Amendment 7,” Article X, Section 25 of the Florida Constitution guarantees patients the right to have access to any records made or received in the course of business by a health care facility or provider relating to any adverse medical incidents.

Recovery of Emotional Distress Damages in a New Jersey Medical Malpractice Action Remains a Tough Hurdle for Plaintiffs
Nicholas A. Rimassa, March 28, 2014
The plaintiff parents brought their 19-month-old daughter to the emergency room at 5:00 pm following difficulty breathing and cold or flu-like symptoms. The child was followed by a pediatric intensivist through the night, who claimed to have called a pediatric cardiologist at approximately 12:00 am...

Prescribing High Potency Medication To a Known Drug Abuser: Is the Doctor Liable For Resulting Injuries?
Julia A. Klubenspies, March 14, 2014
The New Jersey Supreme Court recently heard oral argument on a case involving a patient with a known drug abuse history who swallowed medication from a prescription, high-potency skin patch, which ultimately lead to anoxic brain injury. The question before the Supreme Court is whether the trial...

Defending the Compelled Use of Arbitration Agreements
Jason P. Ferrante, December 18, 2013
On September 9, 2003, an Ohio appellate court published its opinion in McFarren v. Emeritus at Canton, 2013 Ohio App. LEXIS 4058 (Ohio Ct. App. Sept. 9, 2013). The opinion is contrary to fairly recent United States Supreme Court law that bolstered the compelled application of binding arbitration...

How Many Occurrences Have Occurred Where the Occurrence Occurs Under Statutory MCARE Coverage?
Michelle L. Wilson, December 18, 2013
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court recently addressed the meaning of “occurrence” with regard to the limits of coverage provided by the Medical Care Availability and Reduction of Error Fund (Fund) on matters that fall under the “extended claim” provision at § 715 of the...

Delaware Supreme Court Concludes That Medical Bills of A Non-Certified Provider Are Not Compensable Because Preauthorization Was Necessary
, November 26, 2013
In Wyatt v. ResCare Home Care (decided November 20, 2013)-a case argued by Linda Wilson of our Wilmington, Delaware, office-the Delaware Supreme Court rejects the Superior Court’s decision in Vanvliet v. D&B Transp., 2012 WL 5964392 (Del. Super. Ct. Nov. 28, 2012) and holds that the medical...

Claimant’s Medical Expert’s Testimony Regarding the Cause of the Decedent’s Death Was Not Equivocal Simply Because the Expert Offered Alternate Theories Regarding the Exact Cause of Death.
Francis X. Wickersham, October 21, 2013
The claimant filed a fatal claim petition, alleging that the death of his decedent was caused by injuries he sustained from a fall from a crane platform at work. The decedent and a co-worker were working, without harnesses, on an elevated crane platform with no handrails approximately six feet from...

New Jersey Supreme Court Rules Patients First Act Requires High Threshold for Expert Witness Qualifications in Malpractice Cases.
Michael G. Daly, October 21, 2013
The New Jersey Supreme Court reversed the lower court’s decision to allow expert testimony from a witness who did not “specialize” in the same field of medicine as the defendant-physicians. Nicholas involved a malpractice claim against two physicians, among others, for the alleged...

Payment of Medical Payments Over an 18-Month Period by the Employer was Done under a Feeling of Compulsion and Thereby Tolled the Statute of Limitations.
Paul V. Tatlow, October 21, 2013
This case was tried before the Superior Court regarding the employer’s appeal from a Board decision that granted the claimant’s petition to determine additional compensation due by awarding payment of medical expenses as well as a counsel fee. The Board had concluded that the...

Provision in a Financial Agreement that Contravenes the Intent of the Medical Malpractice Act by Limiting Damages is Void as against Public Policy.
Chanel A. Mosley, October 21, 2013
Joseph Franks sought medical care and treatment from Dr. Bowers and his surgical group at North Florida Surgeons, P.A. Prior to undergoing surgery, Mr. Franks executed a financial agreement that contained a provision for arbitration. The arbitration provision contained a limitation of damages...

The Difference between “I’m Sorry” and “I Was Wrong.”
Mary Kate McGrath, October 21, 2013
In June 2013, the Pennsylvania Senate passed the Senate Bill No. 379, the Benevolent Gesture Medical Professional Liability Act, also known as the Apology Act. The bill, which passed the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, returns to the House in the fall 2013 to pass the Senate’s version,...

Landmark False Claims Act Judgment Imposed For Stark Violations
, October 07, 2013
Tuomey Healthcare System is facing the largest False Claims Act verdict ever issued against a not-for-profit hospital. This ruling came on September 29, 2013, when the court ordered that Tuomey pay the sum of $237,454,195 to the United States government and qui tam relator, Michael L. Drakeford,...

Health Care Reform: Marketplaces and Medicaid Expansion and an Update for the Tri-State Area
Stephanie M. Barr,Shannon L. Brainard, September 27, 2013
Open enrollment for the health care market place has finally arrived. Soon, qualified individuals and small businesses will be able to purchase Qualified Health Plans (QHPs) through the Health Insurance Marketplaces (also called health insurance exchanges). With the Marketplaces and Medicaid...

Inpatient Admission Update: Rebilling, Two Midnights and Admission Certifications
Stephanie M. Barr, September 27, 2013
Beginning in October we will see big changes in the world of reimbursement, especially regarding inpatient services under Medicare Part A. The Fiscal Year 2014 Inpatient Prospective Payment System (IPPS) Final Rule (CMS 1599-F) has a significant impact on billing for inpatient admissions and it...