APRIL 2018 BAD FAITH CASES: ERISA PREEMPTS BAD FAITH CLAIMS (New Jersey Federal)

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Relying on prior Third Circuit appellate and New Jersey district court precedent, the district court judge ruled that ERISA preempted the plaintiff’s state law bad faith claims. The court listed numerous district court cases supporting this position, summarizing: “Consistent with the jurisprudence of the Supreme Court and the Third Circuit, courts within this District routinely hold that common law claims alleging breach of contract, bad faith, or negligence in connection with the denial of benefits under an ERISA-governed plan are preempted.”

The court had already made clear “[a]t the outset, the Court finds that Plaintiff’s claims for breach of contract (Count One), bad faith (Count Two), and malicious, willful, wanton, and/or reckless disregard of Plaintiff’s rights (Count Three) undoubtedly relate to the Plan, and thus, are preempted under ERISA. As the Third Circuit has explained, claims alleging breach of contract, bad faith, or negligence in connection with the denial of benefits under an ERISA-covered plan are preempted under ERISA, because those claims are ‘are premised on the existence of the plan….’”

Date of Decision: March 22, 2018

Hocheiser v. Liberty Mutual Insurance Co., Civil Action No. 17-6096 (FLW) (DEA), 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 47870 (D.N.J. Mar. 22, 2018) (Wolfson, J.)

0 Responses to “APRIL 2018 BAD FAITH CASES: ERISA PREEMPTS BAD FAITH CLAIMS (New Jersey Federal)”


Comments are currently closed.