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Following a 2-day bench trial in the matter of Erwood v. Life Insurance Company of America et al., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 56348 (W.D. PA 2017), Judge Maureen Kelly found that WellStar Health Systems in Atlanta, Georgia, breached its fiduciary duties to Plaintiff Erwood when it failed to notify her deceased husband, a WellStar employee, of his right to convert his life insurance benefits from a group policy to an individual policy, thereby causing his life insurance policy to lapse, unbeknownst to he or his widow until after he passed away. This case was filed on the heels of the Supreme Court’s decision in CIGNA v. Amara, which greatly expanded the rights of ERISA claimants, allowing claimants to bring simultaneous causes of action for both breach of contract and breach of fiduciary duty, such as the one brought by Mrs. Erwood in this case.

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