28.    Great West Life & Annuity Insurance Co. v Knudson, 534 U.S. 204 (2002)

The Court upheld the 9th Circuit's interpretation of ERISA precluding enforcement of contractual reimbursement/subrogation provisions in private employee benefit plans. The Court expressly declined to reach the issue of whether the carrier could have sued in state court. The Court included dicta to the effect that a constructive trust might lie under narrowly defined circumstances.


28A. Same as 28--UNPUBLISHED 9th Cir decision 208 F.3d 221 (2000)--ct affd D. Ct's awd of $80K in attys fees despite dismissing for lack of juris. Final sentence in ruling is "Even in the absence of subject matter jurisdiction, a district court has the power to award attorneys fees." at *6 Citing Moore v Permanente Med. Grp, 981 F.2d 443 (9th Cir. 1992).


29.    Honolulu Jt. Apprent. & Training Comm. of ...Local Union 675 v. Foster, 332 F.3d 1234 (9th Cir. 2003) The 9th Cir here held that a union could not obtain reimbursement of training expenses from an apprentice who willfully violated the union contract by going to work for a non-union shop because such contractual reimbursement prohbited by ERISA. However, 9th Cir repeated the constructive trust dicta from S CT in Knudson. Denied attys fees to apprentice under 5 Hummell factors due to equities of the situation.


30. Parnell v. Adventist Health System, 35 Cal.4th 595 (2005)

Ct held that a hospital that has received full payment for its services under its contract with a medical insurance provider is not entitled to file a lien to recover the balance. 3045.1 liens depend on existence of underlying debt. Contract between hospital and insurance plan extinguished the debt by providing that plan payment constituted payment in full and precluded "balance billing." Without underlying debt, there is no obligation which the lien would secure. S. Ct. advised hospitals in dicta that they could circumvent the ruling by including the right to balance bill or lien in their contracts. Ct declined to address CAOC's amicus brief requesting clarification of Hanif/collateral source issue and challenging constitutionality of HLA for lack of due process. See FN 16.


31. Providence Health Plan v. McDowell, 361 F.3d 1243 (9th Cir. 2004)

Pet. for en banc review denied (w/ vigorous dissent) 385 F.3d 1168; cert. denied 4/4/05. 9th Cir held that a state reimbursement action for breach of contract by an ERISA plan did not “arise from” the plan and therefore was not subject to federal preemption. Purports to allow ERISA fiduciaries to circumvent the ERISA prohibition on reimbursement by simply filing in state court. The case holds that there is no such action allowable under ERISA. The case purports to overrule the Pilot Life doctrine and other established Supreme Court and 9th Cir. precedent and is therefore questionable. Petition for rehearing denied with 7 judge dissent. Petition for writ of cert. filed.

Mark C. Blane is a San Diego Auto Accident Attorney, and the managing lawyer of the Law Offices of Mark C. Blane, a San Diego, California Personal Injury Law Firm devoted to representing families of injured persons of automobile accidents. If you or someone you love, has been injured or killed in San Diego County, or Southern California, due to the negligence of another, please order your FREE copy of Mr. Blane's book, The 10 Secrets You Need To Know About Your Injury Case, BEFORE You Call A Lawyer. It is full of helpful information, insights, and secrets that will help you protect your legal rights.  It normally sells for $16.95; however, it is free to all California residents, or those injured in a California accident.