Today the U.S Senate Finance Committee holds a hearing on whether long term disability policies governed by ERISA deliver what they promise. As readers of this blog know, my opinion is that that do not.
Two of the individuals providing testimony have significant experience with ERISA and are presenting information that both condemns and compels. First is Mark DeBofsky, an attorney from Chicago who represents ERISA disability claimants on a regular basis and is an adjunct professor at the John Marshall Law School. Mark is also a personal friend. I've placed his testimony in the website library here
A second witness at the hearing is U.S. District Court Judge William Acker. Judge Acker has frequently commented and written on ERISA. His testimony can be found here
in the website library. To get a sense for Judge Acker's feelings about ERISA in a recent case, take a look at Blankenship v. Metropolitan Life Insurance Co
, 686 F.Supp.2d 1227 (D. Ala. 2009).
It's hard for me to believe that any reasonable person could review the comments of Judge Acker and Mark and not recognize that ERISA is badly in need of fundamental reform. They do not overstate the statute's flaws. In fact, their comments are the tip of the iceberg of the ways in which the statute sets up a fundamentally unfair playing field against claimants.
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