The Supreme Court has denied cert in Amschwand v. Spherion – the Fifth Circuit decision which denies death benefits as an impermissible attempt to collect money damages.
The facts were extremely sympathetic with the employeeâ€™s life insurance policy being left out when the employer switched insurers and with employer assuring the employee that he was covered by the new insurer. There is a strongly worded concurring opinion by Judge Benavides in this case in which he states that â€œThe facts â€¦ scream out for a remedy beyond the simple return of premiums.â€ (Supreme Court file # 07-841)
[My summary here – :: Fifth Circuit Rejects Claim For Death Benefits As Impermissible Attempt To Recovery Money Damages (RFH)]
The Court invited the Solicitor General to express his view on the petition for writ (which was favorable) and many had assumed that the Court would be inclined to hear the issue, particularly given the Court’s apparent interest in ERISA cases since Chief Justice Roberts joined the Court. Perhaps that the MetLife v. Glenn decision betokens a realization that the Court will be unable to continue the confident stride begun in Sereboff toward rationalizing this area of the law.