Kopalow & Girisgen v. Payroll Solutions, 40 Employee Benefits Case 1362 (D.Nev. 2006); 2006 WL 2583266

Andrew L. Rempfer

Practice Area:Employee Benefits

Outcome:Total defense verdict.

Description:Plaintiffs sought millions from the Defendants for supposedly wrongfully denying them health care benefits and engaging in illegal insurance practices. Defendant's counsel successfully removed case to federal court, had the Judge dismiss all of Plaintiffs' state-based claims for relief and then succeeded in totally defeating all of Plaintiffs' federal based claims. In the process, Defendant's counsel succeeded in clarifying an important legal issue regarding employee benefit plans sponsored by Professional Employer Organizations (PEOs). Specifically, Defendant's counsel succeeded in having the Judge declare that health plans sponsored by PEOs may be multiple employer welfare arrangements (MEWAs) governed by federal law, even though numerous other courts have held state laws, including insurance laws, apply. This meant PEOs could be exempt from state insurance licensing laws, as well as insurance-based taxes. At the time, Defendant's counsel had 4 years of experience. Whereas, his co-counsel had 30 plus years of experience yet co-counsel did not raise these legal issues.