• David Martin

The Bad of ERISA Part I: No Extra-Contractual Damages

Over the last few weeks, we've discussed "the good of ERISA." However, now it's time to tackle all of the unfairness of ERISA, and there exists a lot of unfairness with ERISA. The first "bad of ERISA" is that claimants cannot sue for extra-contractual damages.

ERISA is an acronym that stands for the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1910. I am often asked what is wrong with ERISA. Why is ERISA so bad?

There are so many attorneys who would rather not deal with ERISA because of the complexities involved. Our practice focuses solely on ERISA, and we love helping the underdog. We think there's a lot of unfairness with ERISA. And, we'd like to discuss a few of those unfair areas of ERISA.

The first unfair aspect of ERISA to plaintiffs is that claimants cannot sue for extra-contractual damages. Those damages are punitive damages including mental anguish, pain, and suffering. ERISA does not permit claimants to recover those types of damages.

The reason why this is unfair is because those kind of damages give incentive for a plan administrator or an insurance company to do the right thing. If all that can result from an ERISA disability claim or appeal is that they can be sued for the benefits they should have paid anyway, there's not much incentive for them to do the right thing. It also makes it difficult on claimants to have to pay their attorney's fees out of their own benefits.

If you need assistance after your ERISA long term disability, short term disability, pension, retirement, or life insurance claim has been denied, contact an experienced ERISA disability attorney today at 800-284-9309.

Contact us today for a free initial consultation.

The Martin Law Group is dedicated to being your go-to ERISA attorneys and long term disability lawyers. Whether you are pursuing a long-term disability claim, life insurance benefits, or your pension or retirement benefits, we will meet with you face-to-face to discuss your claim at a location convenient for you. 


In an effort to make disability claims as easy as possible, we offer a free initial consultation. We often work with clients in Huntsville, Mobile, Birmingham, Montgomery, Dothan, Tuscaloosa, and Florence, in Alabama, as well as with clients in Columbus, Meridian, Jackson, Hattiesburg, Tupelo, and Gulfport, Mississippi, and surrounding areas.

Contact us today for a free consultation.

Long term disability attorney
Long term disability lawyer alabama

Tuscaloosa Office

2117 Jack Warner Pkwy
Suite #1
Tuscaloosa, Alabama 35401
Toll-Free: 800-284-9309
Local: 205-343-1771

Birmingham Office

The WSK Building
2323 2nd Avenue North
Birmingham, Alabama 35203
Toll-Free: 800-284-9309
Local: 205-343-1771
  • Long term disability lawyer
  • ERISA disability lawyer
  • Retirement benefits lawyer

© 2020 by The Martin Law Group, LLC

Sitemap | Legal Disclaimers | Privacy Policy

Website proudly created by Cartography Consulting.

DISCLAIMER: The information presented on this website should not be construed to be formal legal advice nor the formation of a lawyer/client relationship. Therefore, no information of any kind that you provide us before such a relationship is created is confidential or privileged.

Furthermore, no representation is made that the quality of the legal services to be performed is greater than the quality of legal services performed by other lawyers.