U.S. Supreme Court Agrees to Resolve Circuit Split Over ERISA Plan Reimbursement Rights

Employee Benefits Counsel
by Noah Lipschultz

July 11, 2012 — On June 25, 2012, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to review the decision of the Third Circuit Court of Appeals in U.S. Airways v. McCutchen. The case concerns the U.S. Airways ERISA welfare benefit plan’s efforts to enforce the plan’s reimbursement provisions, which require plan participants or beneficiaries to reimburse the plan for benefits the plan pays due to injuries caused by third parties out of any settlement fund recovered from a third party or other insurance.

In light of the Supreme Court’s grant of certiorari, ERISA plans can hope that the Court provides clear guidance on plans’ rights in this area, which had appeared fairly well-settled after Sereboff up until the rulings of the Third and Ninth Circuits.