In a long-term disability denial of benefits case, the U.S. Supreme Court held that a participant or beneficiary who sues under ERISA need not be a “prevailing party” to be eligible for an award of attorneys’ fees. A court may award fees and costs under the statute as long as the claimant has achieved “some degree of success on the merits.” In this particular case, the plaintiff “satisfied that standard. Though she failed to win summary judgment on her benefits claim, the District Court nevertheless found compelling evidence that she is totally disabled and stated that it was inclined to rule in her favor. She also obtained the remand order, after which Reliance conducted the court-ordered review, reversed its decision, and awarded the benefits she sought. Accordingly, the District Court properly exercised its discretion to award Hardt attorney’s fees.” Hardt v. Reliance Standard, 130 S.Ct. 2149 (2010).
Leave a Reply