Anne Wallace is a New York lawyer, currently living in the metropolitan Washington, DC area. She writes on legal and business issues and teaches at the college and professional level. Anne graduated from Fordham Law School and Wellesley College.
September 20, 2018.
Read [ Amputees Fighting for Insurance Coverage Get Tips from Blue Cross Antitrust Lawsuit ]
Wilmington, DE As amputees fight for insurance coverage for advanced, microprocessor- assisted prostheses, it can help to look at other insurance lawsuits that describe a similar pattern of claims denials.
September 18, 2018.
Read [ Exotic Dancers Bring California Labor Lawsuit to Recover Back Wages ]
Santa Ana, CA By a July 18, 2018 Order, the Superior Court of Orange County ruled that the new Dynamex “ABC” test for determining whether workers are employees or independent contractors should be applied retroactively. The decision in Dynamex v. Superior Court of Los Angeles County was already expected to have far reaching consequences. The ruling in Johnson v. VCG-IS LLC suggests that employer liability for violations of the California Labor Code arising from the new understanding of legal standards may reach years back in time.
September 17, 2018.
Read [ Valsartan Recall Lawsuits Filed over Alleged Carcinogenic Contaminants ]
Washington, DC On August 27, 2018, the Food and Drug Administration published updated press information that expands its original July 17 valsartan recall notice. Sixteen companies have now announced voluntary recalls of blood pressure and heart medications.
September 14, 2018.
Read [ Wheeler v. Metropolitan Life Insurance Company Seeks LTD Benefits for Injured Seaman ]
San Diego, CA Christopher Wheeler was a Coxswain/Diesel mechanic, a contractor doing heavy physical work for the U.S. Navy Fifth Fleet. On March 17, 2015, he was badly injured during a storm at sea off Bahrain. Hospitals and rehab landed him a computer job for which he had no aptitude or training. When that didn’t work out, his employer, Exelis, Inc. terminated his employment and Metropolitan Life Insurance (MetLife) denied his long term disability benefit application. He filed a long term denied disability lawsuit on August 2, 2018 in the Southern District of California. California’s de novo standard for the review of disability claims under ERISA may work to Wheeler’s benefit.
September 11, 2018.
Read [ New California Class Action Lawsuit Targets Deceptive Bank Fees ]
San Diego, CA Bank fees are growing rapidly, and consumers are feeling the pinch. Furthermore, many customers feel that they are somehow being hoodwinked into paying hidden, undisclosed costs. On August 2, 2018, Reyna McGovern filed a class action excessive bank fees lawsuit against U.S. Bank, N.A. (US Bank). Her lawsuit tackles two thorny issues: out-of-network ATM fees and overdraft fees charged when her account showed a sufficient account balance.
September 7, 2018.
Read [ California Court Saves Class Action Wage Claims from Forced Arbitration ]
San Francisco, CA On August 14, 2018, the California Court of Appeals preserved a worker’s right to bring a class action wage lawsuit against Robert Half International (RHI). RHI tried to force Jessica Gentry to arbitrate, alone, her claim that she was cheated out of pay for the time she spent prepping for assignments. The California Labor Code requires that workers be paid for paid for time worked, regardless of how brief. Few, however, can afford the cost of arbitration when the personal financial stake is small. Had RHI been successful, the legal maneuver that would have ended her California labor lawsuit and deprived others of their only effective legal remedy. What happened was very different.
September 4, 2018.
Read [ Amputees’ Fight for Insurance Coverage Focuses on ‘Medical Necessity’ of Microprocessor Prosthetics ]
Washington, DC Lucky to live, unlucky to lose a foot or a leg, survivors of the Boston Marathon bombing soon found themselves facing the harsh truth of inadequate insurance coverage for their prosthetic care. Years on, the good news is that microprocessor-enhanced artificial limbs have gotten better. The bad news is that insurance companies like Anthem and United Healthcare still balk at paying for them. Insurance lawsuits since then have taken particular aim at the internal review standards insurers use to determine whether a medical treatment or device is “medically necessary.” The standards do not line up with what amputees need most and what these modern devices can really do. Cost cutting vs. good health – it’s the match of the century.
August 28, 2018.
Read [ CFPB Moves to Protect Students from Overdraft Fees ]
Washington, DC On July 20, 2018, the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (CFPB) offered to settle its claim that TCF National Bank engaged in deceptive practices to market its overdraft protection services. In its bank overdraft fees lawsuit the CFPB alleged that these practices affected students at the University of Minnesota, with which TCF has a beneficial financial relationship. As their bright young things head off to college, should parents be concerned? Students and other inexperienced and lower income banking customers are particularly vulnerable to excessive overdraft fee schemes.
August 21, 2018.
Read [ Lawsuits Brewing over Insurance Denials for “Smart” Prostheses ]
Los Angeles, CA In California and other states, amputees are denied insurance coverage for modern prostheses. These legs and ankles are hugely better than the old titanium alloy stilts because of their microprocessors. Lt. Dan was glad to stand with his bride, but imagine running up the stairs or dancing at a Gump-ish wedding. Nonetheless, Anthem, United Healthcare and other insurers plead shock, confusion, and a general lack of evidence when asked to pay for the more modern prosthetics. The ensuing insurance lawsuits have taken aim at the insurers’ claims that the advanced prostheses are not medically necessary or still experimental.
August 9, 2018.
Read [ Ninth Circuit Says Pension Plan Participants Cannot be Forced to Arbitrate ]
San Francisco, CA On July 24, 2018, the Ninth Circuit held that the plaintiffs in a pension plan lawsuit could continue their legal fight as a class action, rather than having to arbitrate individually.Munro v. University of Southern California is a major victory for ERISA plan participants who were required to sign individual arbitration agreements as a condition of employment. The Court likened these ERISA lawsuits to whistle blower lawsuits–essentially viewing the plaintiffs as public prosecutors acting in defense of the pension plan itself. This is a very broad argument that may ultimately have wider legal implications.
- Anthem Denials of Emergency Room CT Scans and MRIs; Patients Sent to Clinics (Aug-6-18)
- California Supreme Court Says Employers Must Pay for De Minimis Off-the-Clock Work (Aug-3-18)
- Sen. McCaskill Probes Anthem Emergency Room Coverage Denials (Jul-28-18)
- Summary Judgment for Lincoln National in Barber v. Lincoln National Life Insurance Company (Jul-25-18)
- Anthem Refuses to Cover Emergency Room Care After the Fact (Jul-18-18)
- Surveillance Sinks Liberty Mutual Long Term Denied Disability Lawsuits (Jul-12-18)
- Supreme Court Restricts Class Action Availability for Wage Theft Violations (Jul-10-18)
- Aon Hewitt Named (again) in Double-Dealing Retirement Plan Lawsuit (Jul-9-18)
- MetLife Refuses to Disclose Background Claim Processing Principles (Jun-28-18)
- Why You Need an Estate Plan (Jun-21-18)
- Credit Union Lawsuit Cites Excessive Overdraft Fees (Jun-20-18)
- Invesco Accused of Treating ERISA Plan Participants as Captive Investors (Jun-13-18)
- Ninth Circuit Champions Wrongly Denied Disability Claimant (Jun-8-18)
- Death by Delay – CFPB Defers Credit Union Overdraft Regulations into Indefinite Future (May-22-18)
- Home Depot Employees File ERISA Class Action Lawsuit over 401(k) Mismanagement (May-9-18)
- Class Action Status Critical to California Donning and Doffing Wage Lawsuit (May-8-18)
- Fibromyalgia sufferer wins denied disability claim lawsuit against Hartford (May-4-18)
- MB Financial Facing Lawsuit re $6,000 in Overdraft Fees (Apr-30-18)
- Another Chance after LTD Denial? Arbitrary and Capricious Standard Continues to Crumble in MetLife Lawsuit (Apr-25-18)
- The Curious Case of the Disappearing DePuy Damages (Mar-24-18)
- New Evidence Reopens Scotts Turf Builder Mesothelioma Lawsuit (Mar-20-18)
- Indiana Woman Wins $35 Million in Johnson & Johnson Transvaginal Mesh Lawsuit (Mar-18-18)
- Liberty Mutual Administrator Must Consider Evidence of 'Broken Heart' (Mar-13-18)
- A New Way for Unum Lawsuit Plaintiffs to Fight Biased Medical Review (Mar-5-18)
- Takata Settles with 44 States. No Dough, Though (Mar-1-18)
- Deadly Onglyza Side Effects Set in Fast and Lawsuits Lumber On (Feb-25-18)
- Worker Claims Employment Discrimination Based on her Asian Heritage (Feb-22-18)
- It's Alive! Class Action Lawsuit against Capital One Bank is Back On (Feb-18-18)
- California Woman Slams J&J, Ethicon with 7-Count Physiomesh Lawsuit (Feb-15-18)
- Minnesota Consumer Sues Capital One over 128 Bill Collector Robocalls to Cellular Phone (Feb-6-18)
- Childhood Asthma Risk Linked to Mother’s PPI Use during Pregnancy (Feb-5-18)
- Are ER’s Cashing in on Upcoding? (Feb-3-18)
- How to Think Like a Plaintiff in a Unum Lawsuit (Jan-24-18)
- Lanzo Talcum Powder Mesothelioma Toxic Tort Trial Opens in New Jersey (Jan-22-18)
- Kmart settles healthcare fraud lawsuit for $32.3 million (Jan-20-18)
- Will Monsanto-Sponsored Science Poison RoundUp Lawsuits? (Jan-15-18)
- Denied Disability Claimant Wins when Administrator Blows Deadline (Jan-10-18)
- Pregnant Worker Wins California Wrongful Termination Lawsuit (Jan-6-18)
- Second Airbag Recall for Ford and Mazda Trucks (Jan-2-18)
- ‘Failure to Warn’ at Heart of Onglyza Lawsuits (Dec-31-17)