Practice Areas & Industries: Wilson Elser Moskowitz Edelman & Dicker LLP


Life, Health, Disability & ERISA Return to Practice Areas & Industries

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Practice/Industry Group Overview

Given the intricacies of life, health, disability and ERISA laws and regulations, there are no “one size fits all” solutions. Wilson Elser is committed to finding what works best for each client of our growing practice. Our breadth of experience, collaborative approach and extensive resources allow us to do so consistently, efficiently and effectively.

Wilson Elser has more than 30 years of related experience working with its loyal client base. We represent the insurance industry and self-funded plans and also work closely with insurers, underwriters, claims personnel, insurance agents and contract drafters.

We understand that life, health and disability insurers face complex and ever-changing issues. Wilson Elser has more than 30 years of related experience partnering with its loyal client base. We represent the insurance industry and self-funded plans and also work closely with insurers, underwriters, claims personnel, insurance agents and contract drafters. This experience affords us a profound understanding of our clients’ legal challenges and a strong working knowledge of their respective businesses.

Wilson Elser’s Life, Health, Disability & ERISA practice not only brings to bear all the resources expected of a large national law firm, but also provides our clients with individualized service more commonly associated with smaller local and regional firms since our practice team members are based in local Wilson Elser offices throughout the country.

Recognizing that our clients want cost-effective solutions to complex cases, we proactively seek resolutions through early file analysis and risk assessment. Team members have extensive experience defending clients through all phases of litigation proceedings. When early resolutions are not possible, we do not hesitate to resolve cases in court. Wilson Elser is proud of its reputation as one of the largest and most successful litigation firms in the country. We represent insurers, plans, employers, fiduciaries and third-party administrators in almost every kind of litigation, including:

  • First-party bad faith claims
  • Agent misconduct and compensation disputes
  • Trademark infringement
  • 419 welfare benefit plans
  • 412i defined benefit plans
  • Employment issues
  • Stranger-owned/investor-owned life insurance (STOLI/IOLI) 
  • Stop loss
  • Health provider pricing

Practice members have defended cases involving claims for denial of severance and pension benefits, wrongful termination of disability benefits, denial of accidental death and dismemberment benefits, life insurance rescission and claims issues, wrongful discharge under ERISA, eligibility for ERISA medical benefits and medical provider insurance fraud. We also provide advice and guidance for ERISA fiduciary matters and help clients address such issues as preemption, breach of fiduciary duty, fraud and misrepresentation, reporting and disclosure, and potential financial exposure.

Group Presentations
  In-House Roundtable: Counsel and Claims Professional Insights on New & Emerging Issues in Disability Insurance Claims , January 23, 2014
Accidental Death Claims: Weighing in on the Definition of an Accident and When Self-Inflicted Injury Exclusions Apply , July 29, 2013
Litigation of Long-Term Disability Claims , May 22, 2013
Articles Authored by Lawyers at this office:

Temporary Insurance Applications and Agreements: The Impact of Material Misrepresentations in Life Insurance Applications on Coverage
Michelle M. Arbitrio, November 19, 2013
Earlier this year, the Fourth Circuit upheld a decision of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, Banner Life Ins. Co. v. Noel, No. 12-1329, 2013 WL 221650 (4th Cir. Jan. 22, 2013), holding that a material misrepresentation made in a life insurance application was a...

“Savings Clause” Still Threatens ERISA Plan Limitations
Laura E. Fannon,Adrienne C. Publicover, November 04, 2013
In Kentucky Association of Health Plans v. Miller, 538 U.S. 329 (2003), the United States Supreme Court restructured the ERISA preemption analysis and reaffirmed the holding in Unum Life Ins. Co. v. Ward, 526 U.S. 358 (1999), that California’s notice-prejudice rule was saved from preemption....

As the “NY State of Health” Enters Its Third Week, a Look at the Role of Navigators
Frank J. Fanshawe,Sandy M. McDermott, October 23, 2013
New York’s Health Insurance Marketplace, officially called the NY State of Health, has entered its third week of operation, and as of October 8, 2013, had enrolled 40,000 New York residents in health insurance plans offered through the Marketplace. These enrollments have taken place online,...

Evaluating Employer Insurance Coverages to Defend against Claimed Violations of the Affordable Care Act
Frank J. Fanshawe,Sandy M. McDermott, October 09, 2013
Employers have long been subject to lawsuits brought by employees for employment actions such as wrongful termination, discrimination and harassment. With the opening this week of the Health Insurance Marketplaces and the deadline for employers to provide the Notice to Employees of Coverage Options...

Administration Delays Launch of Federally Facilitated Small Business Health Insurance Exchanges
Frank J. Fanshawe,Sandy M. Smith, September 30, 2013
In 35 states where the federal government is taking a lead role in the development of the health insurance exchanges, small businesses will be required to wait until November to complete their online purchases of health coverage. The Obama Administration originally established October 1, 2013 as...