Current scholarly writings concerning the Employee Retirement Security Act of 1974 ("ERISA") have noted recent problems arising in the development of the proper statute of limitations period for an ERISA action. While the Supreme Court could reduce the amount of this ERISA litigation by declaring a simple uniform federal rule, it has not done so, leaving the federal circuit courts to develop their own ERISA jurisprudence. These courts, no longer guided by such legal greats as Byron "Whizzer" White, have fumbled the opportunity in favor of a litigious multiplicity rule, thus spawning much of the ERISA litigation. Surprisingly, the circuit courts, rather than developing a uniform federal common law rule applicable to all persons similarly situated, have instead chosen to use the very same state law that ERISA supposedly preempted. This article aims to show that this approach utilized by the circuit courts is incorrect. Part II performs a cursory investigation of the circuit courts' decisions narrowed in scope to their limitations period for the informational penalty lawsuit, the benefits due lawsuit, the equitable remedy lawsuit to enforce plan provisions, the employer retaliatory discrimination lawsuit, and the delinquent employer contribution lawsuit. Then, Part III outlines the anomaly of using state statutes of limitations for ERISA lawsuits. Finally, Part IV demonstrates the reasoning that the circuit courts should have used to determine a uniform federal common law for the limitations period for all ERISA causes of action.
George L. Flint Jr.,
ERISA: Fumbling the Limitations Period,
84 Neb. L. Rev.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/nlr/vol84/iss1/6