Wading into perhaps the most mundane issue it has faced in years, the U.S. Supreme Court on Dec. 16 ruled that a long-term disability plan’s three-year statute of limitations on claims was “reasonable” and did not violate the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA), which governs many.
In 2005, a Walmart employee sought long-term disability benefits, but the Hartford insurance company denied her claim because she waited more than three years to file, as the plan’s terms specified. A district court dismissed the case, the 2nd Circuit affirmed the dismissal and now the Supreme Court has agreed.
The High Court declined to say how long a statute of limitations should be in ERISA cases—merely that the three years required in this case was “reasonable.” The case is Heimeshoff v. Hartford Life & Accident Insurance Co. (No. 12-729., U.S. Supreme Court, 2013).