Federal Express (“FEDEX”) thought their disability insurance plan was governed by ERISA, but attorneys Dell & Schaefer and the US Southern District Court of Florida disagree

Attorneys Dell and Gavidia filed suit against Federal Express (“FedEx”) on behalf of their client, Richard Bilheimer, in Palm Beach County Circuit Court, alleging that their client’s former employer Federal Express had breached the terms and conditions of the Federal Express Short-term Disability Plan by denying Mr. Bilheimer’s claim for disability benefits. Moreover, FedEx prevented Mr. Bilheimer from applying for long-term disability benefits as a result of denying his claim for short term disability benefits.

Shortly after the lawsuit was filed in state court, FedEx removed the case to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, arguing that the short-term disability plan was an employee welfare benefit plan governed by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (“ERISA”), a federal law which governs most employer provided disability, health and life insurance plans.

Attorneys Gavidia and Dell moved to remand the case back to state court and claimed that the short-term disability plan fell within the “payroll practice” exception of 29 C.F.R. § 2510.3-1(b)(2) and was not governed by ERISA. Attorneys Gavidia and Dell also moved to recover attorney fees and costs against FedEx.

U.S. District Judge Kenneth Marra ruled in favor of Mr. Bilheimer, concluding in part, “[t]hat the payroll practice exception to ERISA applies and that remand is appropriate”¦.” The opinion issued in this case is a precedent setting case that will set new standards for the way group disability plans are structured by employers. A claimant is always at a disadvantage if their claim is governed by ERISA, therefore Attorneys Dell & Schaefer are always challenging the applicability of ERISA in all disability insurance claims. Fedex offers short and long-term disability insurance as an employee benefit for thousands of employees. This case is currently pending in Palm Beach County Circuit Court.

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Yes. We are a national disability insurance law firm that is available to represent you regardless of where you live in the United States. We have partner lawyers in every state and we have filed lawsuits in most federal courts nationwide. Our disability lawyers represent disability claimants at all stages of a claim for disability insurance benefits. There is nothing that our lawyers have not seen in the disability insurance world.

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Since we represent disability insurance claimants at different stages of a disability insurance claim we offer a variety of different fee options. We understand that claimants living on disability insurance benefits have a limited source of income; therefore we always try to work with the claimant to make our attorney fees as affordable as possible.

The three available fee options are a contingency fee agreement (no attorney fee or cost unless we make a recovery), hourly fee or fixed flat rate.

In every case we provide each client with a written fee agreement detailing the terms and conditions. We always offer a free initial phone consultation and we appreciate the opportunity to work with you in obtaining payment of your disability insurance benefits.

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No. For purposes of efficiency and to reduce expenses for our clients we have found that 99% of our clients prefer to communicate via telephone, e-mail, fax, GoToMeeting.com sessions, or Skype. If you prefer an initial in-person meeting please let us know. A disability company will never require you to come to their office and similarly we are set up so that we handle your entire claim without the need for you to come to our office.

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When you call us during normal business hours you will immediately speak with a disability attorney. We can be reached at 800-682-8331 or by email. Lawyer and staff must return all client calls same day. Client emails are usually replied to within the same business day and seem to be the preferred and most efficient method of communication for most clients.

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Janelle R.

I loved working with Steve! Not only was he professional and knowledgeable but he also was kind and compassionate and really made me feel like not only my case mattered but so did I. I can not say Thank you enough for all you did and also a special Thanks to Michal she was also very kind and always made time for me. God bless you both!

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