Scharff v. Raytheon Company Short Term Disability Plan, et. al, 581 F.3d 899 (September 9, 2009). Importantly, in Scharff, the Ninth Circuit declined to import into ERISA federal common law a California insurance regulation which imposes a duty to inform claimants of statutory deadlines.
In a decision that is likely to have serious ramifications, in October of 2009, the Ninth Circuit determined that the Montana Insurance Commissioner’s practice of denying approval to insurance forms with discretionary clauses was saved from ERISA preemption by the Savings Clause (29 U.S.C. § 1144(b)).