ERISA can irritate ya.

The Fifth Circuit sees many challenges to decisions under ERISA about benefits.  In McCorkle v. Metropolitan Life Ins. Co., the Court reminded that “district courts hearing complaints from disappointed ERISA plan members or their beneficiaries for the administrative denial of benefits are not sitting, as they usually are, as courts of first impression.  Rather, they are serving in an appellate role.”  No. 13-30745 (July 3, 2014). After summarizing the deferential standard of review in that capacity, the Court then emphasized: “We had thought that by now this was understood and accepted by all district judges of this circuit.  But, as this case demonstrates that we were wrong, at least as to one of them, we try yet again to drive that message home.”

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