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Blog | Erin Ronstadt

Blog

Subrogation Rights a Hot Issue in ERISA

Feb, 06, 2013 Erin Ronstadt Blog 0

This is a follow-up blog to our July 2012 posting on this same case. If you’ve ever been received compensation from a work-related or personal injury matter, then you have most likely dealt with your insurance company’s subrogation rights. ‘Subrogation’ refers to your health insurance company’s right to get reimbursed for expenses it has paid …

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New CFS Drug Ampligen Can’t Get FDA Approval

Jan, 04, 2013 Erin Ronstadt Blog 0

Ampligen, the first drug engineered to target Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (“CFS”), has been recommended against approval by the Food and Drug Administration (‘FDA”). Read an article here about the topic. Ampligen has been in development for a few decades, and this is not the first time it has failed to earn FDA approval. The FDA …

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Insurers Cannot Hide Behind Legal Counsel – the “Fiduciary Exception” to Attorney-Client Privilege

Dec, 17, 2012 Erin Ronstadt Blog 0

When you consult with an attorney, your conversations with that attorney are protected as privileged, and there is little exception to this rule. While this protection may be important for the average person, insurance companies have been afforded this protection in the ERISA context when it came to communications with their legal counsel. Under the …

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Litigating an ERISA case: Discovering Medical Reviewer Bias

Dec, 01, 2012 Erin Ronstadt Blog 2

If your disability benefits have been denied, your insurance company very likely hired an “independent” physician or medical reviewer to justify the denial of your claim. Insurance companies will often hire these “independent” reviewers to review a claimant’s medical records and provide opinions regarding the claimant’s functionality, pain levels, and overall disabled status. Ironically, these …

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Ninth Circuit Clarifies ERISA Structural Conflict

Nov, 26, 2012 Erin Ronstadt Blog 0

The Ninth Circuit has recently found that, when a plan sponsor properly grants discretion to a plan administrator separate from the plan’s funding source, there is no structural conflict of interest when the administrator merely “consults with” the plan sponsor. Moving forward, it will be important to factually establish that the administrator was actually influenced …

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Fibromyalgia – Potentially Disabling at Any Age

Jul, 25, 2012 Erin Ronstadt Blog 1

People suffering from Fibromyalgia experience a life of pain that many will never understand, which is why the story of 17-year old Jenna Rice is so inspiring to read. In the face of her disabling symptoms, Jenna has found ways to raise awareness about chronic illness while also doing her best to pursue her interests, …

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SCOTUS to Decide Personal Injury Recovery in ERISA

Jul, 23, 2012 Erin Ronstadt Blog 0

Under ERISA, a plan is often entitled to take offsets against other benefits that a claimant receives. For example, plans almost always take an offset for workers’ compensation or social security disability insurance (SSDI) benefits. Many plans go as far as requiring claimants to apply for SSDI benefits, so that the plans can take the …

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