Waggeh v. Guardian Highlights Importance of Governing Documents in ERISA Disputes

In Waggeh v. Guardian Life Ins. Co. of Am., 2023 WL 4373897 (D. Mass. July 6, 2023), Chief Judge Saylor of the District of Massachusetts rejected the plaintiff’s contention that her state law claims “fell outside the provisions of ERISA,” and dismissed the complaint on the grounds that they were preempted by ERISA. In support of its motion to dismiss, Guardian offered an affidavit disputing the assertions in the complaint, but did not include a copy of the policy or the plan with the affidavit. While the court ultimately dismissed the complaint, Guardian’s affidavit was not considered — emphasizing the importance of governing documents.

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About Author: W. Glenn Merten

Glenn Merten, a sought-after litigator, represents insurance carriers, service providers and financial institutions in class actions, complex litigation and administrative proceedings. He is the co-leader of the firm’s ERISA litigation team and a member of both the Insurance and Benefits and Executive Compensation practice groups. With more than two decades of experience guiding clients through compliance issues and alternative dispute resolution, Glenn helps shield clients from the cost and risk of litigation. He often represents clients in high-stakes internal investigations and regulatory enforcement actions. View all posts by

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