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The Pivotal Law Blog

Pivotal Attorney McKean J. Evans Obtains Win for Employee in ERISA Disability Coverage Lawsuit

Posted Wednesday, February 27, 2019 by Pivotal Law Group

On February 27, 2019, Pivotal Law Group attorney McKean J. Evans obtained a victory in an ERISA disability lawsuit in federal District Court in Seattle. McKean's client was denied disability coverage because she filed her claim a few days late, even…

Case Law Update: Will Contest Clause

Posted Wednesday, February 27, 2019 by Christopher L. Thayer

The Washington Court of Appeals, Division I, in the matter of In Re Rai-Choudhury (No. 77740-8-1, February 25, 2019) rendered a decision about the impact of a “no contest” clause in a Last Will and Testament. Margaret Rai-Choudhury, age 82, executed a…

Digital Estate Planning Cautionary Tale: Investors Lose $190 Million in Bitcoin After The Only Person With The Password Dies

Posted Tuesday, February 5, 2019 by Pivotal Law Group

There are many reasons to regularly update your estate plan, but one particularly important reason is to ensure family and business colleagues have access to critical information in the event of your unexpected death or incapacity. A recent cautionary…

Four Common Disability Insurance Provisions and Why They Matter

Posted Friday, January 25, 2019 by Pivotal Law Group

As with most insurance cases, disputes over disability insurance coverage or benefits frequently turn on the specific insurance policy language at issue. The policy's fine print can lead to outcomes that might seem counterintuitive. Below are four common…

Do I Really Need A Will? The Who, What, When, Where, Why and How of Estate Planning for the New Year

Posted Thursday, January 17, 2019 by Pivotal Law Group

Most Americans lack an estate plan, especially Millennials. Many people find even thinking about estate planning daunting. But, like any problem, it’s easy to approach by breaking it down into small steps. Here’s a straightforward checklist of why an…

Case Law Update: Res Ipsa Loquitur

Posted Monday, January 14, 2019 by Christopher L. Thayer

In a recent Washington Court of Appeals Division III case, Clarke v. Nichols (35477-6, January 3, 2019)(Unpublished), the Court took the opportunity to review and clarify application of principles of Res Ipsa Loquitur (Latin translated literally as “the…

King County Bar Association Publishes ERISA Disputes Best Practices Guide by Pivotal Attorney McKean Evans

Posted Friday, January 4, 2019 by Pivotal Law Group

The King County Bar Association's January 2019 edition of the Bar Bulletin features an ERISA disputes best practices guide by Pivotal Law Group attorney McKean J. Evans. McKean describes circumstances in which attorneys may encounter ERISA benefit…

Court Ruling Emphasizes Common Sense Reading of Insurance Policy in Win for Policyholder

Posted Monday, December 31, 2018 by Pivotal Law Group

The Washington Court of Appeals recently decided Poole v. State Farm Fire and Casualty Company, a case about fine print in a homeowner’s policy. After the Pooles' home burned down, State Farm denied coverage under a technical reading of the words…

Texas Judge Strikes Down Affordable Care Act

Posted Monday, December 17, 2018 by Pivotal Law Group

A federal judge in Texas has ruled the Affordable Care Act (a/k/a "Obamacare") can no longer be enforced. The judge determined the Act cannot function without its individual mandate requiring virtually all Americans to carry minimum health…

"Washington State Supreme Court Rules Against Microsoft in Retaliation Lawsuit by Ex-Employee"

Posted Thursday, November 29, 2018 by Pivotal Law Group

Recently, the Washington State Supreme Court heard a case regarding a former Microsoft Employee “who accused the company of laying her off in retaliation for taking prior legal action in a gender-discrimination complaint”. In 2004, Cornwell the former…

Health Insurer Ordered to Pay $25.5 Million For Wrongful Cancer Treatment Denial

Posted Friday, November 9, 2018 by Pivotal Law Group

In a timely followup to last week’s discussion of how to fight health insurance denials, this week an Oklahoma jury ordered health insurer Aetna to pay $25.5 million for denying coverage for insured’s Orrana Cunningham’s cancer treatment bills. Aetna had…

How to Fight A Health Insurance Denial

Posted Friday, November 2, 2018 by Pivotal Law Group

Many Americans increasingly find themselves dealing with huge medical bills after medical procedures their health insurers should have covered. All too often, the insurance company says "it's not our problem, talk to the hospital;" the hospital…

Washington State Insurance Commissioner Fines United Healthcare for Denying Women's Health Claims

Posted Thursday, October 18, 2018 by Pivotal Law Group

On September 13, 2018, Washington's Insurance Commissioner entered into a Consent Order with United Healthcare regarding violations of Washington insurance law governing women's health claims. United Healthcare is a health care service contractor that…

ERISA Plan Administrator Cannot Unilaterally Ignore Treating Physicians, Appeals Court Confirms

Posted Thursday, October 11, 2018 by Pivotal Law Group

A recent appeals court ruling emphasizes that ERISA plan administrators cannot ignore the opinions of a claimant’s treating physicians absent tangible evidence those opinions are wrong. In Hennen v. Metropolitan Life Insurance Company, the appellate…

ERISA Guide by Pivotal Attorney McKean Evans Published in WSAJ Trial News

Posted Wednesday, October 10, 2018 by Pivotal Law Group

Attorney McKean J. Evans published a guide to handling insurance claims under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act ("ERISA") in the October edition of the Washington State Association for Justice Trial News.

Seattle's Domestic Workers Bill of Rights

Posted Tuesday, September 25, 2018 by Pivotal Law Group

Are domestic workers like nannies, gardeners and housekeepers entitled to basic worker protections like breaks and minimum wages? The answer used to be no, but under Seattle’s new Domestic Worker Bill of Rights, domestic workers have new and important…

Inverse Condemnation Claims – Sound Transit

Posted Thursday, September 20, 2018 by Christopher L. Thayer

Division II of the Washington Court of Appeals recently addressed a situation where a landowner asserted an inverse condemnation claim against Sound Transit and the City of Tacoma for flood damage which plaintiff claimed was caused by the negligence of…

The Importance of Planning for Medical and End-of-Life Decisions

Posted Wednesday, September 12, 2018 by Pivotal Law Group

People make an estate plan because they want certainty about what will happen in the future. This often includes certainty about who will make medical decisions for you if you’re ever unable to do so. For many people, one important future medical…

Five Important Things You Should Have in Your LLC Operating Agreement

Posted Wednesday, September 5, 2018 by Kim Sandher

While most states don’t require you to have an operating agreement (Washington is the one of the states that does not require it), one of the biggest mistakes people make after setting up a Limited Liability Company is not drafting an operating…

Title Insurance Cover Tribal Fishing Rights Claims Against Landowner Says Court of Appeals

Posted Thursday, August 30, 2018 by Pivotal Law Group

Title insurance is a critical part of most real estate deals. In Washington and throughout the U.S., a piece of real estate has likely changed hands numerous times, including typical purchase money mortgage sales, foreclosures, bequests via a will or…

DISCLAIMER: This blog is not legal advice. This site and any information contained herein are intended for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice under any circumstances, nor should it be construed as creating an attorney-client relationship. The information on this blog is a general statement of the law and may not be up to date, accurate or applicable to your specific circumstances. Prior success in litigation is not an indication of future results; each case is unique and past results cannot predict future outcomes.

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