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Long Term Disability / Life /
Accidental Death / ERISA

Our past years of representing insurance companies taught us a thing or two about how they work behind the scenes. Let our experience work for you.

Common Complications in Filing ERISA Lawsuits in Louisiana

ERISA cases are highly unusual in that they are not tried before a jury, and in most cases the federal judge who has sole discretion over the outcome of the case is compelled by the law to give deference to the insurance company being sued. Claimants have no opportunity to speak to the judge, call or cross examine witnesses, or introduce new evidence. The only information that will be considered is that which is contained in the administrative record.


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Receiving a bill should never be the first step in getting help. Our firm knows that when dealing with an ERISA, long term disability or insurance claim, what you need is answers, and we are here to provide them free of charge.

Our firm welcomes telephone calls or the opportunity to visit with you in person to answer any questions you may have. We also provide FREE comprehensive case reviews. There is no obligation to hire us as your ERISA attorney.

Why I Love Our Mission Of
Helping People Like You…

Too much is at stake to guess about the best approach and strategy for fighting your denied insurance claim — years and years of financial security.

After spending years representing insurance companies, we don’t guess. We know their playbook and how they work behind the scenes. Using that knowledge, we’ve developed our own Clear Advantage Process for fighting claims.

It’s personally satisfying to use what I’ve learned as an insurance company insider, now for the good — helping families reverse unfair denials of insurance benefits they paid for, need and deserve.


About J. Price McNamara

Price McNamara began his law practice in 1990 representing insurance companies.

In 1995, Mr. McNamara founded McNamara Law Offices, where he represents people across the U.S. who are wrongfully denied long-term disability insurance, life insurance, and accidental death insurance benefits, with special focus on ERISA claims and lawsuits.

His is a member of the Louisiana and Texas Bars, with office locations by appointment only in Baton Rouge, Metairie, and Houston. He lives in Baton Rouge, Louisiana with his wife and their three children.

See How We Have Helped Others In Situations Just Like Yours.

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Although it may seem as though the laws are stacked against you, ERISA cases can be won with the aid of an experienced attorney. J. Price McNamara has stood up to the largest, most powerful insurance companies in the nation, representing a variety of injured employees who were denied the benefits to which they were entitled.

The following descriptions of complications that commonly arise in ERISA lawsuits are not meant to discourage you from pursuing your benefits in court. Rather, they are intended to emphasize the importance of securing skilled legal counsel if you want to even the odds against you:


Our number-one goal is getting you and your family back to financial security as soon as possible.

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Baton Rouge Office

10455 Jefferson Hwy,
Suite 2B
Baton Rouge, LA 70809
Phone: (225) 201-8311
Fax: (225) 201-8313
(By Appointment)

New Orleans Office

4141 Veterans Memorial Blvd.
Suite 212
Metairie, LA 70002
Phone: (504) 458-8455
Fax: (225) 201-8313
(By Appointment)

Houston Office

363 N Sam Houston Pkwy E
Ste 1100 PMB, #114
Houston, TX 77060
Phone: (713) 439-0339
Fax: (225) 201-8313
(By Appointment)

ERISA Lawsuits Can Only Be Filed in a United States District Court

Because ERISA law trumps state laws regarding insurance and disability claims,ERISA lawsuits must be filed in a United States District Court, which is a federal court. ERISA lawsuits filed in state courts are generally not dismissed, but rather “removed” to the appropriate federal courts. Once the suit reaches a federal judge, he or she will examine the complaint meticulously to ensure that it meets the pleading requirements established by the official plan document.

If the federal judge reviewing the case finds that the claimant has not fulfilled his or her obligation to exhaust all administrative remedies after the denial of his or her claim, as specified in the summary plan description (SPD) and including the possibility of two rounds of appeals, then the case may be dismissed with prejudice.

Naming a Defendant in an ERISA Case

While ERISA allows employees to file a lawsuit after the final denial of their claims, the law does not specify which party should be named the defendant in such suits. The courts have arrived at contradictory decisions regarding this matter:

  • Some courts have found that the plan itself must be the named defendant
  • Some courts have found that the plan and the plan administrator can both be named defendants
  • Some courts have found that the plan and the employer can both be named defendants

Naming the incorrect defendant can put a lawsuit in immediate jeopardy.

The Defendant May File a Motion for Dismissal

Although they are not successful in most cases, the defendants named in ERISA lawsuits often file a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim on which relief may be granted. In other words, the defendant asks the court to dismiss the lawsuit on the basis that the claimant failed to present sufficient facts to indicate that he or she was entitled to legal remedy. This motion is usually rejected on the grounds that the claimant has presented sufficient facts to make a claim at least superficially plausible.

Discovery Is Limited in Louisiana ERISA Cases

In fact, in many ERISA cases, discovery – the allowance of the plaintiff and the defendant to “discover” the evidence the other side has to present – is not permitted. Generally, any document that is part of the administrative record is allowed to be submitted into evidence and is the only evidence considered by the court. The only instance in which discovery is allowed is when there are claims of due process violations or bias on the part of the plan administrator.

Attorney Advertising. This website is designed for general information only. The information presented at this site should not be construed to be formal legal advice nor the formation of a lawyer/client relationship. Testimonials are not a guarantee, warranty, or prediction of the outcome of your case. By providing certain contact information herein, you are expressly authorizing the recipient of this message to contact you via the methods of communication provided.

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