Recent News

Regence Blueshield v. Susan Finn
(E.D. Wash. June 15, 2017)
Russell & Oliver attorneys obtained summary judgment in favor of an ERISA plan after the participant refused to reimburse the plan in accordance with the terms outlined in its SPD. The Participant argued that she had not received a copy of the SPD, rendering the Plan’s reimbursement provision void and unenforceable. The Court rejected the participant’s argument and held that the plan administrator’s attempts to provide participants access to the Plan documents fulfilled ERISA’s disclosure requirements. The Court enforced the terms of the SPD and awarded the Plan full reimbursement of the benefits paid on behalf of the participant.


 April 28, 2017
On April 28, 2017, Matt Stephens and Jodi Runger presented “Reading Between the Telephone Lines: How to Argue Your Case to the Member’s Attorney” at the 2017 National Other Party Liability Group Conference in Glendale, AZ.

October 23-27, 2016
Lance Oliver presented, “Burdensome ERISA Document Requests and How to Respond” at the 2016 National Association of Subrogation Professionals Conference in Colorado Springs, CO.

CHP v. Willia Ledford, 204 F. Supp. 3d 983 (M.D. Tenn. August 29, 2016)
Russell & Oliver attorneys successfully obtained reimbursement in this case involving a personal injury accident in New York. The participant refused to reimburse the Plan and asserted that the SPD was not legally binding and her third-party recovery was not subject to the Plan’s reimbursement provision. The Court determined that the SPD was the operative plan document and denied the participant’s motion to dismiss.

Upcoming – November 5-8, 2017
On November 5, 2017, Russell & Oliver attorneys, Lance Oliver and Gordon Howard, will be presenting, “How to Navigate the Perfect Subrogation Storm: A Detailed Case Study.” This presentation will discuss the facts underlying and lessons learned in a recent federal court case pursued by our office. This case involved many treacherous issues facing subrogation professionals including preferred member issues; dealing with hostile plaintiff’s counsel; critical elements in determining what serves as the governing ERISA plan document; and how a stop-loss carrier can impact reimbursement.