Decades of Experience Handling ERISA Claims & Litigation

ERISA litigation is highly specialized, with mandatory appeals with many different, time-sensitive deadlines depending on the type of case. Because of this, many attorneys shy away from taking disability insurance, life insurance, and AD&D (accidental death and dismemberment) cases that are governed by ERISA.  Another reason some attorneys prefer to not handle ERISA matters is that recovery is limited, with bad faith, and extra-contractual and punitive damages are strictly prohibited.

Even among attorneys that take ERISA cases, there is a divide on how to best handle a case.  Many ERISA lawyers will settle cases for a fraction of the value.  As a result, insurance companies typically approach a case with the mindset that they can easily end the litigation by paying no more than a small portion of the total contract damages.  At Donahue and Horrow LLP, we have worked hard to challenge this framing of ERISA cases.

If we believe that the case is strong, and our client has the desire and ability, we will take the case to trial.  This aggressive approach has not only allowed us to secure numerous trial victories, but the insurance companies have learned that our clients will not jump at lowball offers.  Accordingly, we have been able to resolve cases at numbers that are favorable settlements for our clients without even going to Trial.

What does this mean for you?  It means that if the case does not resolve before trial, and the case is strong, we will take it to trial.  Additionally, we are not afraid to appeal an unfavorable decision to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals if we believe there is merit.  At the end of the day, our success record means more money in your pocket.

In fact, because of our ability to analyze ERISA claims, we are often able to secure benefits for our clients before litigation.  After carefully reviewing and analyzing the initial denial decision and then providing overwhelming evidence on appeal, the insurance companies are more willing to reverse decisions on appeal.

We have successfully employed this tactic many times.  For example, in 2020, we were retained by a shoe salesman whose claim for benefits was denied.  Years before, he was in a motor vehicle accident that exacerbated his previously existing neck and back issues.  Eventually, the escalating pain forced him to stop working after a four-decade career as a shoe salesman for a major, high-end department store.  Our client filed a disability claim, which was initially approved.  However, after about 18 months of paying his claim, the insurance company abruptly stopped payment, stating that he could return to work in his previous occupation.

After receiving the denial letter, he contacted our firm and we helped guide him through his appeal.  After taking over the appeal, Donahue and Horrow LLP proved to the insurance company that our client was unable to continue working as a shoe salesman and his claim for benefits was reinstated.

This is just one example of how Donahue and Horrow LLP utilizes its network of physicians and experts to marshal evidence that persuades the insurer to reverse its initial denial decision.

The team at Donahue and Horrow LLP treats and honors every client with respect, and clear communication and we are privileged to fight for the justice of anyone who trusts us with their case.  Throughout the years our client success stories have become a living testament to how we have changed the lives of our clients for the better. We make ourselves accessible to our client’s questions and concerns and are always just a scheduled phone call away.