The Employment Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) was enacted in 1974 and since then has been subject to substantial litigation. While some disputes are successfully resolved outside of court, many matters involving ERISA end up going to Louisiana ERISA trials.
Due to the complexity of this legislation, ERISA trials can be lengthy and cumbersome. An attorney who has previously litigated Louisiana ERISA trials can help guide you through the process and determine whether your claim is appropriate to pursue.
A preliminary issue in determining whether a matter can be pursued in a Louisiana ERISA trial is whether ERISA applies. In general, this law covers private employer-sponsored pension plans and health, life, and disability insurance. More specifically, plans must be established and/or maintained by the employer to provide benefits to plan participants or beneficiaries. If a dispute does not arise from an employer-sponsored benefit plan under these circumstances, an ERISA trial may not be an available avenue.
There may be multiple allegations within a single ERISA trial. Under ERISA, plan participants and beneficiaries may bring a civil cause of action against the plan at issue.
Typical civil claims in this context involve actions to recover benefits that are owed under the plan, to enforce the terms of a plan, or to address a breach of fiduciary duty. Under ERISA, it is also unlawful for an employer to terminate or discriminate against an employee for exercising their rights under ERISA.
In addition to civil violations, criminal violations of ERISA may also result. Common criminal actions involving ERISA include embezzlement, false statements, and fraud.
The federal district courts typically have jurisdiction over ERISA claims. Generally, an ERISA action should be filed in the federal district court where the plan is administered, where the breach occurred, or where the defendant lives or can be found. There is generally no right to a jury trial for ERISA claims.
Although exhaustion of administrative remedies is generally not required prior to pursuing an ERISA matter in court, individuals may choose to seek available administrative remedies prior to going to trial, if possible.
Most causes of action have an established statute of limitations that restricts the amount of time that a plaintiff has to file their claim. Although there is a six-year statute of limitations for claims for a breach of fiduciary duty, other claims arising out of ERISA violations do not have a clearly defined statute of limitations.
In the absence of an established statute of limitations, the court will often apply a statute of limitations for a similar cause of action at the state level. To avoid potential issues with the statute of limitations, claims should be initiated as soon as possible.
If you considering bringing a claim in an ERISA trial, a Louisiana ERISA lawyer can help. An attorney who regularly represents claimants in court to resolve disputes relating to ERISA, can help guide you through the legal system to reach a positive outcome.
A skilled practitioner can help you understand the nuances of your claim to create a thorough claim. To learn more about how a passionate attorney can help you in your ERISA trial, call today for a free consultation.
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