ERISA-Fifth Circuit Rules That ERISA Does Not Preempt State Law Claims For Negligent Misrepresentation, Promissory Estoppel And Violations Of Texas Insurance Code

In Access Mediquip L.L.C. v. United Health Care Insurance Company, No. 10-20868 (5th Cir. 2012), questions were raised as to the scope of liability of an ERISA plan administrator and fiduciary (the defendants) for allegedly misrepresenting to a service provider (the plaintiff) that a plan beneficiary’s purchase of medical devices from the provider would be reimbursed by the plan. One issue arising out of these questions was whether the service provider’s state law claims for negligent misrepresentation, promissory estoppel and violations of the Texas Insurance Code were preempted by ERISA. Overriding some previous Fifth Circuit cases, and getting by some of the case’s procedural events, the Court ruled that those state law claims were not preempted by ERISA.

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