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Landmark Cases

Case Name: Florence CORCORAN v. UNITED HEALTHCARE & BX/BS of Alabama

Date, Location, Cite: 1992 965 F.2d 1321
5th Circuit LA

ERISA was created by Congress specifically to protect retirement plans by not allowing state courts to sue under them, force the issue to Federal Ct.

Ms Corcoran was pregnant, advised to stay at bed rest due to complications; company refused her leave. She was hospitalized, United refused precertification, allowed 10 hrs/day home health nurse.

She miscarried while nurse was not there, and sued, saying United exercised Medical, not contractual, judgment.

United got it moved to Federal Court, then dismissed, and every higher Court agreed - ERISA didn't allow any other path.

Federal Court said United makes Medical decisions, was still exempt.

They noted that the Corcorans got all money for costs, and were suing only for loss of love and consortium.

Court said this was a troubling decision, as it left no remedy in law for the parents, and that perhaps things had changed a lot since Congress drafted the laws in 1974 - but Congress, not the Courts, have to re-write the laws.

Actually, a well written decision.