Home Menu ↓
Clicking on our sponsor links helps insure continued free access to this website.
Please support our efforts by visiting our sponsors:

 

U.S. AIRWAYS, INC. v. McCUTCHEN

Docket No.: 11-1285
Certiorari Granted: Jun 25 2012
Argued: November 27, 2012
Decided: April 16, 2013

Topics:

ERISA, Employee Retirement Income Security Act, attorney fees, equitable relief

PartyNames: US Airways, Inc., in its Capacity as Fiduciary and Plan Administrator of the US Airways, Inc. Employee Benefits Plan v. James E. McCutchen, et al.
Petitioner: US Airways, Inc., in its Capacity as Fiduciary and Plan Administrator of the US Airways, Inc. Employee Benefits Plan
Respondent: James E. McCutchen, et al.

Court Below: United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
Citation: 663 F.3d 671
Supreme Court Docket

US Airways, Inc., in its Capacity as Fiduciary and Plan Administrator of the US Airways, Inc. Employee Benefits Plan
v.
James E. McCutchen, et al.
Background:

Employee benefit plans often cover a participant's medical bills in the event of injury but require that, if the participant obtains compensation from a third party for that injury, he or she reimburse the plan in full. Under Section 502(a)(3) of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act ("ERISA"), plans may enforce these reimbursement provisions in court by seeking "appropriate equitable relief" to enforce "the terms of the plan." 29 U.S.C. ยง 1132(a)(3). Twice in recent years this Court has resolved disputes about how Section 502(a)(3) works in reimbursement actions. In the more recent case, Sereboff v. Mid Atlantic Medical Services, Inc., 547 U.S. 356 (2006), the Court expressly reserved a third question about the provision. The Third Circuit, in its words, has now "squarely" answered "the question that Sereboff left open," Pet. App. 9a, and has done so in a way that, as it acknowledged, splits the circuits.

Question Presented:

Whether the Third Circuit correctly held-in conflict with the Fifth, Seventh, Eighth, Eleventh, and D.C. Circuits-that ERISA Section 502(a)(3) authorizes courts to use equitable principles to rewrite contractual language and refuse to order participants to reimburse their plan for benefits paid, even where the plan's terms give it an absolute right to full reimbursement.

U.S. AIRWAYS, INC. v. McCUTCHEN
ORAL ARGUMENT

November 27, 2012

Listen to Oral Argument in U.S. AIRWAYS, INC. v. McCUTCHEN
Holding: VACATED AND REMANDED
Vote: 5-4

U.S. AIRWAYS, INC. v. McCUTCHEN
Case Documents

1BRIEF FOR PETITIONER
2BRIEF AMICUS CURIAE OF THE NATIONAL COORDINATING COMMITTEE FOR MULTIEMPLOYER PLANS IN SUPPORT OF PETITIONER
3BRIEF OF CHAMBER OF COMMERCE OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, AMERICAN BENEFITS COUNCIL, ERISA INDUSTRY COM- MITTEE, AND SOCIETY FOR HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT AS AMICI CURIAE IN SUPPORT OF PETITIONER
4BRIEF AMICI CURIAE FOR THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF SUBROGATION PROFESSIONALS AND THE SELF INSURANCE INSTITUTE OF AMERICA, INC. IN SUPPORT OF PETITIONER
5BRIEF OF AMICUS CURIAE CENTRAL STATES, SOUTHEAST AND SOUTHWEST AREAS HEALTH AND WELFARE FUND IN SUPPORT OF PETITIONER
6BRIEF OF AMICI CURIAE THE BLUE CROSS BLUE SHIELD ASSOCIATION AND THE RAWLINGS COMPANY, LLC IN SUPPORT OF PETITIONER
7BRIEF FOR RESPONDENTS
8BRIEF OF AMICI CURIAE AARP AND NATIONAL EMPLOYMENT LAWYERS ASSOCIATION IN SUPPORT OF RESPONDENTS
9BRIEF OF THE AMERICAN ASSOCIATION FOR JUSTICE AMICUS CURIAE IN SUPPORT OF RESPONDENTS
10BRIEF OF LAW PROFESSORS AS AMICI CURIAE IN SUPPORT OF RESPONDENTS
11BRIEF OF AMICUS CURIAE OF THE PENNSYLVANIA ASSOCIATION FOR JUSTICE IN SUPPORT OF RESPONDENTS
12BRIEF OF AMICI CURIAE UNITED POLICYHOLDERS, THE ARIZONA ASSOCIATION FOR JUSTICE, THE UTAH ASSOCIATION FOR JUSTICE, THE SAN FRANCISCO TRIAL LAWYERS ASSOCIATION, THE MINNESOTA ASSOCIATION FOR JUSTICE, THE SOUTH DAKOTA TRIAL LAWYERS ASSOCIATION, THE NEW JERSEY ASSOCIATION FOR JUSTICE AND THE NEW YORK STATE TRIAL LAWYERS ASSOCIATION IN SUPPORT OF RESPONDENTS
13BRIEF OF AMICUS CURIAE CONSUMER WATCHDOG IN SUPPORT OF RESPONDENTS
14BRIEF FOR THE UNITED STATES AS AMICUS CURIAE SUPPORTING NEITHER PARTY
15U.S. AIRWAYS, INC. v. McCUTCHEN Oral Argument Transcript (PDF)
16U.S. AIRWAYS, INC. v. McCUTCHEN Oral Argument Audio
17Slip Opinion in U.S. AIRWAYS, INC. v. McCUTCHEN (Opinion by Justice Elena Kagan)