• David Martin

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

Updated: Oct 14, 2019


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 second unfair aspect of ERISA is that ERISA disability claimants do not have the right to a jury trial. Our Constitution guarantees the right to a jury trial. If you are wrongfully accused of a crime, you have the right to a jury of your peers. We also have the right to a jury trial in civil cases.


However, with ERISA, you may not have the right to a jury trial. The Supreme Court and the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals have stated, at various times, that ERISA was similar to another area of law, and that area of law didn't have the right to a jury trial. Accordingly, the courts won't extend that right to ERISA either.


Although ERISA disability claimants do not have the right to a jury trial, claimants do still have the right for a judge to decide their case.


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.