Articles Posted in Riemer & Associates News

On March 27, 2014, the United States District Court in Manhattan awarded Mr. Riemer’s client $97,354.80 in attorney fees. The Court awarded all attorney fees requested. In weighing the factors for deciding if attorney fees should be awarded, the Court found that the degree of culpability, deterrence, and the relative merits of the case favor plaintiff.

For a copy of the decision,Download file.

On Sunday, December 15, 2013, attorney Scott M. Riemer volunteered at the Legal Day of the New York City Chapter of the MS Society. The Legal Day is an annual event that permits individuals suffering from Multiple Sclerosis to obtain legal help from a group of volunteer lawyers of various specialties. This year, because of the snow storm, participating individuals received telephone consultations instead of face-to-face meetings. Mr. Riemer has been volunteering for the MS Society Legal Day for over 10 years.

If you would like to participate next year at the Legal Day of the New York City Chapter, click here.

On Sunday, November 11, 2012, Scott M. Riemer volunteered at the Legal Day of the New York City Chapter of the MS Society. The Legal Day provides the opportunity for individuals suffering from Multiple Sclerosis to meet with lawyers of various specialties to discuss legal issues. Mr. Riemer met with individuals pertaining to long term disability claims. Mr. Riemer has been a participant at the MS Society Legal Day for over 10 years.

For more information about the MS Society’s Legal Day, please click here.http://http://www.nationalmssociety.org/chapters/nyn/programsandservices/legal-services/index.aspx

On November 2-4, 2012, The International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society held its annual conference in Boston. Mr. Riemer co-hosted a medical legal seminar on the disability process with two other attorneys. Mr. Riemer addressed the who, what, where, why, when and how of disability claims involving Lyme Disease.

For more information about the conference and ILADS, click here.

On August 28, 2012, the federal court in Manhattan held that de novo is the appropriate standard of judicial review for disability insurance claims denied by Prudential Insurance Company. This ruling is the first of its kind within the Second Circuit. The decision effectively makes it more difficult for Prudential to deny valid disability claims brought by disabled individuals in New York.

In the case, Prudential argued that the language in their “Summary of Plan Description” (SPD) should be used to determine the appropriate standard of review, rather than the plain language of the actual insurance policy. The SPD contains language granting Prudential the right to discretionary authority in determining the eligibility for benefits. Prudential asserted that this language entitled it to the “arbitrary and capricious” standard of review, which is a very high standard giving great deference to Prudential’s determinations. Riemer & Associates, however, convinced the court that de novo was the more appropriate standard of review, allowing the Court to more thoroughly review Prudential’s determination without giving it deference.

The Court’s decision helps level the playing field. Individuals victimized by Prudential’s arbitrary claim denials can now more effectively litigate their claims in New York and Connecticut under a much more appropriate standard of judicial review. Through the Court’s decision, Riemer & Associates is forcing insurance companies to be held more accountable when deciding disability claims.

Click here to view the Court’s decision in full: Download file

For more information explaining how (ERISA) governs the content and distribution of SPD’s, please click http://www.dol.gov/ebsa/newsroom/fserisa.html“>here.

Scott M. Riemer was one of the principal presenters at the “ERISA Basics” conference held by the Pension Rights Center, on June 10, 2010. Mr. Riemer’s topic was “Disability Claims under ERISA.”

The Conference was held at the offices at Legal Services NYC. The attendees were predominately public service attorneys.

MSNBC reported today that disability filings are up 30% in the last two years as a result of the poor economy. Click here

At Riemer & Associates, we are experiencing the same trend. As a result, we are adding staff in order to service the increased workload. We are also moving our offices to a larger suite. Our new address as of January 1, 2010 is Riemer & Associates, LLC., 60 East 42nd Street, Suite 1750, New York, New York, 10165.

It has been our experience that there are many individuals with chronic illnesses who are having increasing difficulty in managing the increased demands and pressures of the current business environment. We help these individuals with their exit from work and assist them in completing the paperwork required for a disability claim.

For more information about our claim services, click here.

On June 15, 2009, Scott M. Riemer was one of the featured speakers at the 12th National Advanced Forum on Resolving Disability Insurance Claims & Litigation in Boston. The conference was sponsored by the American Conference Institute. The conference included speakers who are leading plaintiff and defense lawyers as well as top medical experts. The topic of Mr. Riemer’s discussion was “The Impact of MetLife v. Glenn on the Standard of Review and Discovery.” Please take a look at ACI’s website for more information, http://www.americanconference.com/Home.htm.

Click here for a copy of the conference brochure:
http://www.americanconference.com/litigation/Litigating_Disability_Insurance_Claims.htm

Last year, Scott M. Riemer spoke at the 11th National Advanced Forum in Boston. The topic of his discussion at that conference was “Standard of Review in ERISA Litigation in Light of MetLife v. Glenn.”

In Jacoby v. Hartford, 254 F.R.D. 477 (S.D.N.Y. 2009), the Federal District in New York City ordered Hartford to produce thousands of pages of documents pertaining to Hartford’s inherent conflict of interest. Rejecting Hartford’s claims of confidentiality and burdensomeness, the Court ordered Hartford to respond to plaintiff’s interrogatories and document demands, including the full production of Hartford’s BMS Claims Manual and SIU Reference Manual. The Court also rejected Hartford’s claim that documents held by its consulting firms Medical Advisory Group and University Disability Consortium were not within its “possession, custody or control.”
This decision is a valuable precedent because it provides a possible solution to the dilemma of being whipsawed between the insurance company and its consultants. When seeking documents, each entity claims that the other has the sole duty of producing the requested documents. In this case, the Court rejected Hartford’s assertion that the documents held by its consultants, Medical Advisory Group and University Disability Consortium were outside Hartford’s control. The Court ordered Hartford to use its influence with its consultants to obtain the requested documents. The Court held:

In these circumstances, Hartford is directed to cause the production of the requested materials that are in the hands of UDC and MAG. Should it fail to do so, and should plaintiff press the point, a hearing concerning the relationships between Hartford and each of these entities and the nature of Hartford’s efforts to secure their cooperation could prove necessary.

On January 12, 2009, Scott M. Riemer will receive the Public Education award of the New York City Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. The Award is to salute Mr. Riemer for his volunteer services for Chapter members and for his pro bono efforts to make the procedures used for long-term disability insurance more equitable for those disabled by multiple sclerosis.

The Award will be presented at the Chapter’s Annual Meeting and dinner to be held at the New York Marriott Marquis Hotel on January 12, 2009.

For more information about the NYC Chapter of the National MS Society, please click here: http://www.nationalmssociety.org/chapters/NYN/index.aspx