Dallas Attorneys Prevail in ERISA Lawsuit
DALLAS, TX – March 2, 2021 - Dallas attorneys Matthew Kolodoski and Harrison Yoss recently obtained summary judgment in a case involving accidental death benefits allegedly owed under an employee welfare benefits plan regulated by ERISA. The plaintiffs argued that accidental death benefits were improperly denied during the administrative review. In addition to arguing lack of eligibility under the plan, the defendants argued that the plaintiffs’ claims were completely barred by the policies’ contractual limitations provision. The plaintiffs argued that the contractual limitations argument should have been raised in the administrative review. However, the Court completely rejected that position, stating “[T]he relied upon contractual limitation does not serve as a basis for denying the underlying benefits claim, instead, it bars the filing of a lawsuit.” The Court further elaborated that the defendants “could not have used the three-year contractual imitations provision as a basis for denying Plaintiffs’ claim, and thus could not have relied on the three-year limitation in its denial latter, because it bars only the untimely filing of lawsuits predicated on the administrator’s denial…. Plaintiffs’ sole argument against the enforcement of the contractual limitation puts the cart before the horse and fails.” Matthew Kolodoski stated, “The Court applied a common-sense approach to this issue and clarified the relationship between contractual limitations provisions and the underlying administrative review.” The case was pending in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas, Austin Division.