Peter E. Pederson has extensive experience with litigation involving employee benefits under ERISA and non-ERISA plans. He defends insurers, third-party administrators, and plan fiduciaries in actions alleging improper plan administration and management.
Pete frequently handles cases that challenge the denial of health, life insurance, disability, and pension benefits. He also represents managed-care companies and health plans in disputes with medical providers, and he counsels clients regarding compliance with ERISA and other code-based areas of the law.
In addition to his employee benefits practice, Pete regularly represents parties in commercial disputes that arise from insurance policies, vendor contracts, partnership and shareholder agreements, and employment agreements.
He has represented business owners in the drafting of operating and employment agreements and successfully resolved contract and business-tort claims arising in a variety of contexts.
Pete also has a track record of successfully defending and resolving class actions under ERISA, the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, and other consumer protection laws. Pete has defeated motions for class certification in a number of high-exposure suits.
In the course of his work, Pete has practiced before courts across the country. He has briefed and argued appeals in the First and Seventh Circuits, and he has achieved favorable results for clients in matters pending before U.S. District Courts in the First, Fourth, Seventh, Eighth, Ninth, Eleventh, and D.C. Circuits.
Pete’s practice has resulted in reported case law regarding, among other things, the scope of discovery under ERISA, the disclosure obligations of plan fiduciaries, and the formation of insurance policies and reinsurance treaties.
After graduating cum laude from the University of Illinois with a B.A. in economics and statistics, Pete earned his J.D., cum laude, at Boston University School of Law. Pete later obtained an LL.M. in tax, with an emphasis on employee benefits regulation, at the University of Washington. Pete joined the firm as an associate in August 1999.
Representative Matters :
- Stock-drop class action. Participants in a pension plan established by a waste management company filed a class action alleging that company executives breached their fiduciary duties by imprudently investing plan assets in company stock. The court granted summary judgment to the client, the former CFO, holding that the plaintiffs’ claims were barred by the statute of limitations.
- Action for rescission of group insurance policies covering union members. A union trust fund sued an insurer and its indirect parent, the clients, for a refund of premiums that the trust fund paid to the insurer for group policies that provided union members with life insurance and accidental death and dismemberment insurance. The district court dismissed the parent corporation for lack of personal jurisdiction, and then entered summary judgment for the insurer on both the trust fund’s claims and the insurer’s counterclaim to recover unpaid premiums. The Seventh Circuit affirmed on all counts. Pete wrote the briefs on appeal and in the district court.
- Action challenging termination of disability benefits based on limitation for mental illness. A participant in a long-term disability plan established by a credit union sued the plan’s insurer, the client, alleging that its termination of her benefits violated ERISA and the Americans with Disabilities Act. The First Circuit affirmed the district court’s summary judgment in favor of the insurer. In addition to drafting the motion for summary judgment, Pete drafted the appellee’s brief and argued the appeal before a panel made up of then Chief Circuit Judge Michael Boudin, Circuit Judge Jeffrey Howard, and retired Supreme Court Justice David Souter.
- Bench trial in action challenging plan insurer’s termination of disability benefits. A participant in a long-term disability plan sued the plan’s insurer, the client, alleging it improperly terminated her disability benefits and violated ERISA’s mandate to conduct a full and fair review of her claim. Following a bench trial that Pete second-chaired, the chief judge of the Northern District of Illinois entered judgment in favor of the insurer.
- Action challenging denial of accidental-death benefits based on felony exclusion. The widow of a participant in a life insurance plan submitted a claim to the plan’s insurer, the client, after her husband died in an an automobile crash that occurred while his blood-alcohol content was three times higher than the legal limit. The district court and the Seventh Circuit held that the client correctly denied the claim based on a policy exclusion for loss resulting from the participant’s commission of a felony.
- Action for breach of contract arising from prepaid services card. The plaintiff paid a merchant $150,000 for a prepaid services card that could be used to purchase chartered flights brokered by the merchant. Instead of remitting the money to the card issuer (the client), the merchant kept the funds and became insolvent when the financial markets crashed in 2008. The plaintiff sued the card issuer and its affiliate, contending they were liable for the merchant’s default. The district court entered summary judgment for the card issuer and its affiliate based on the motion Pete prepared.
- Action for violations of the TCPA and Fair Credit Reporting Act. Pete won a motion for summary judgment in a putative class action alleging that DirecTV and its vendor (the client) violated the TCPA by using automated dialing equipment to make a fraud notification call to the plaintiff’s cell phone.
- J.D., cum laude, Boston University School of Law, 1999
- B.A., cum laude, Economics, University of Illinois, 1996
- U.S. Supreme Court
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
- U.S. Disctrict Court for the Central, Northern, and Southern Districts of Illinois
- U.S. Disctrict Court for the Southern District of Indiana
- U.S. Disctrict Court for the Western District of Washington
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