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ERISA Fiduciaries Have a Duty to Inform

This article examines the case of Van Loo v. Cajun Operating Company in which the court found that the employer, serving as plan administrator of a group life insurance plan providing basic and supplemental coverage, may be liable for monetary damages for breach of its fiduciary obligations because it failed to inform the employee that she needed to complete an evidence of insurability form to be eligible for supplemental coverage under the plan.

The author uses this case to highlight risks involved when serving as plan administrators, which may be liable for
(1) affirmative misrepresentations to employees, (2) harmful misinformation provided to employees, and (3) failure to inform when that silence might be harmful.