ERISA LITIGATION

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ERISA DISPUTES


ERISA Disputes - Employers/Plan Fiduciaries                 

Employers and other plan fiduciaries have significant responsibilities under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act.  When ERISA disputes arise, whether such disputes involve a claim for  benefits under an ERISA plan, or allegations involving an alleged breach  of a fiduciary duty, it is important that the relevant plan fiduciary  understand the full panoply of rights and responsibilities provided  under the law, in order to properly handle the administrative claim and appeals process and any resultant federal court litigation.


Assisting Fiduciaries with the Administrative Process

At  Pridgen Law, we understand just how important the administrative claim  and appeals process is in the world of ERISA.  There is a substantial  body of federal law - statutory, regulatory, and case law - to guide a  fiduciary's actions. Our familiarity with that law allows us to counsel  fiduciaries (like claim/appeal administrators and others) and  employers/plan sponsors in a highly proactive manner.  Let our  experience assisting clients with the ins and outs of claim and appeal  processing provide valuable insight into your process as well.


Assisting Fiduciaries with ERISA Litigation

ERISA  litigation is literally what Pridgen Law does all day, every day. And  our founding attorney has litigated ERISA cases nationwide, for multiple  Fortune 500 companies, for many, many years. When ERISA litigation is  required because a dispute can't be resolved through informal channels,  you want an experienced and affordable ERISA litigator on your team.   Our familiarity with the case law across the nation, and once on board,  with the particularities of your plan, makes us the natural choice.


Comprehensive ERISA Litigation Defense

Our  founding attorney has litigated scores of ERISA litigation matters on  behalf of Fortune 500 plan fiduciaries across the nation, including:

  • Long term disability claims
  • Short term disability claims
  • Pensions claims (including 401(k), ESOP, and traditional retirement plans)
  • Life Insurance/AD&D claims
  • Other complex ERISA litigation (including class actions).


At  Pridgen Law, we understand just how important the administrative claim  and appeals process is in the world of ERISA.  There is a substantial  body of federal law - statutory, regulatory, and case law - to guide a  fiduciary's actions. Our familiarity with that law allows us to counsel  fiduciaries (like claim/appeal administrators and others) and  employers/plan sponsors in a highly proactive manner.  Let our  experience assisting clients with the ins and outs of claim and appeal  processing provide valuable insight into your process as well.


 

ERISA Disputes for Individuals/Employees                 

When employees seek the counsel of Pridgen Law  for an ERISA matter, it is most commonly over the denial of a  pension/401(k), severance, or health benefit, or an alleged breach of  fiduciary duty. It may seem intimidating for an individual to challenge  the decision of a corporate plan administrator or his or her employer.   You may also be unsure whether you have a strong claim. Despite your  uncertainties, we recommend scheduling a free initial consultation with  us for several reasons.


Practical Legal Advice

We  have built a trusted reputation in Atlanta for giving our clients the  bottom line. If the litigation hazards or applicable law outweigh a  lawsuit, we will tell you. On the other hand, there may be nuances as to  whether you may be entitled to a benefit, even if you aren't sure you  qualify under the strict letter of the plan. More importantly, if you  prevail on your claim in federal court, ERISA provides that you may be  able to recover not only the withheld benefit, but also interest that  may have accrued in the interim, as well as your attorney's fees.


Investigating Unlawful Practices

An initial consultation sometimes uncovers a plan administrator's unlawful practices. If those ERISA violations  have impacted other employees, a class action lawsuit may be available.  Notably, our founding attorney has litigated class action lawsuits that  began in this manner, where only one beneficiary initially came  forward.


Analyzing Specific Plan Benefits

When  an employee first contacts us, our starting point is the plan  documentation, which should specify the time limit and other procedures  for filing a claim, in addition to a description of the plan's benefits.  Depending on the nature of the disputed benefit, we may gather  extrinsic evidence. For example, medical records and expert testimony  may be required to substantiate a claimant's medical condition.


Comprehensive ERISA Litigation Representation for Employees

We have many years of ERISA litigation experience covering diverse claims, including:

  • Health benefit claims
  • Severance claims
  • Top Hat claims
  • Pensions claims (defined contribution (401(k)/ESOP) or defined benefit (traditional retirement) plans)
  • Life Insurance/AD&D claims
  • Other complex ERISA litigation (including class actions).


Protecting Government Employees 

We  are also able to represent employees with benefit disputes who are not  covered by ERISA, such as government or church employees. Each has its  own procedural requirements. In many cases, in order to appeal a benefit  denied by a government entity in Georgia, for example, you must appeal  by way of a writ of certiorari to the county superior court. Failing to  comply with this procedure could leave you without a remedy.