Attorney Fees for Long Term Disability ERISA cases

“In an action by [an ERISA] plan participant, the district court, in its discretion, ‘may allow a reasonable attorney’s fee and costs of action to either party.’ ” Moon v. Unum Provident Corp., 461 F.3d 639, 642 (6th Cir. 2006)

“[O]ur circuit recognizes no presumption as to whether  attorney fees will be awarded.” Foltice v. Guardsman Prods., Inc., 98 F.3d 933, 936 (6th Cir. 1996)

The Sixth Circuit applies a five-factor test to determine awarding fees:

(1) the degree of the opposing party’s culpability or bad faith; (2) the opposing party’s ability to satisfy an award of attorney’s fees; (3) the deterrent effect of an award on other persons under similar circumstances; (4) whether the party requesting fees sought to confer a common benefit on all participants and beneficiaries of an ERISA plan or resolve significant legal questions regarding ERISA; and (5) the relative merits of the parties’ positions.

“No single factor is determinative, and thus, the district court must consider each factor before exercising its discretion.” Id. at 642, 643.

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About tngadisabilitylawyer
Disability Lawyer in Tennessee and Georgia.

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