January 13, 2021

The article discusses how upcoming cases addressing ERISA arbitration, health benefit plan litigation and novel theories in class actions over retirement plans will affect the 2021 landscape.

Partner Amanda Amert was recently interviewed by Law360 for an article examining key ERISA cases to watch in 2021. The article discusses the upcoming cases that will likely shape the 2021 landscape including those involving whether plans could require workers to resolve fiduciary-breach claims through arbitration, health benefit plan litigation, and new ERISA class action theories, among others.

In the article, Ms. Amert discussed a Seventh Circuit case addressing key issues in ERISA arbitration, such as whether administrators can write mandatory consent-to-arbitration provisions into a benefit plan's summary plan document, requiring plan participants to resolve fiduciary-breach claims through arbitration.

"I'm keeping an eye on this case because the arbitrability question is a really practical one for our clients when they're trying to figure out what they're going to do with their benefit plans," said Ms. Amert. "Should we be putting an arbitration provision into our ERISA plan?"

Ms. Amert also discussed the industry’s increased focus on suits accusing health plans of breaching their fiduciary duties.

"My big-picture view is that the health benefit-related cases are going to keep going and keep getting bigger, because there's so much money being spent in this space right now," Amert said. "The sheer amount of dollars going through health plans is staggering."

“ERISA Arbitration, New Legal Theories To Be Tested In 2021,” can be found here. (subscription required)

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