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Steven J. Bruzonsky

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Steven J. Bruzonsky
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Gilbert, AZ 85234
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Please note that Attorney Bruzonsky has been doing this regular “Liens Corner” column since April 2006. His last “Liens Corner” article was for the November/December 2017 issue of The Advocate, having stepped down from this regular column, as he now works part-time (and is part-time retired) exclusively handling large subrogation/lien claims in very large personal injury and medical malpractice cases for other attorneys. However, attorney Bruzonsky may add notes to this website under the subject lien article headers from time to time. (Please keep in mind that this site contains general information for educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide legal advise, which can only come from a qualified attorney who is familiair with all the facts and circumstances of your specific case and relevant law.) 

 

 

2014-03/04: Update ERISA Liens

June 25th, 2016 11:55:04 am


This article has been published in “The Advocate”, a monthly publication of the Arizona Association for Justice/Arizona Trial Lawyers Association, March – April 2014 issue, @2014 by Steven J. Bruzonsky, Esq.

 

Updates On Various Types of Lien Issues

 

ERISA Liens – Statute of Limitations:

 

In  Blood Systems v. Roesler, 2013 WL 5328150 (D.Ariz, Sept. 24, 2013) (No. 2:11-cv-02133-ROS), the Arizona District Court held that ERISA subrogation claims under ERISA §501(a) are subject to the A.R.S. §12-541(3) statute of limitations for employment contract actions based on employee handbooks or policy manuals that do not specify a time period in which to bring an action. In this case, the ERISA plan documents did not specify a statute of limitations period. Therefore, the Court granted Roesler’s Motion for Summary Judgment dismissing the ERISA plan’s subrogation reimbursement claim for payment of accident-related medical benefits as the one year statute of limitations period had expired. 

 

In Heimeshoff v Hartford Life & Accident Insurance Co., No. 12-729 (12-16-2013), the U.S. Supreme  Court held that the statute of limitations period stated in the Plan’s long term disability policy was applicable, and the Court affirmed the Second Circuit’s affirming of the district court’s dismissal of the case. Rec­ognizing that ERISA does not provide a statute of limita­tions for actions under §502(a)(1)(B), the court explained that the limitations period provided by the most nearly analogous state statute applies. “Unless the limitations period is unreasonably short or there is a “controlling statute to the contrary,” - - - the Plan’s limitations provision must be given effect. “Under Connecticut law, the Plan was permitted to specify a limitations period expiring “[not] less than one year from the time when the loss insured against occurs.” The long term disability plan required that the employee file a lawsuit “within three years after “proof of loss” is due”; and the employee failed to file the lawsuit within this time. Note that the Court initially mentions that this contractual statute of limitations period is set forth in the insurance policy, and the Court thereafter simply refers to the ERISA “plan” as containing this contractual statute of limitations period.  There was no discussion of whether or not the contractual statute of limitations period was set forth or incorporated by reference in the official plan document(s) adopted by authorized plan officials.



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© Copyright 2006, Steven J. Bruzonsky, Attorney
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