Business Litigation

Life, Health, Disability & ERISA

Life, health and disability benefit providers often face complex and ever-changing issues under state and federal law. Messerli Kramer has nearly 30 years of experience partnering with insurers and self-funded plans to provide responsive, cost-effective legal advice and counsel. We also work closely with claim analysts, underwriters and insurance agents/brokers.

Messerli Kramer utilizes all the resources expected of a regional law firm – yet provides the individualized service more commonly associated with small local firms.

We proactively seek resolutions through early file analysis, risk assessment and alternative dispute resolution. But we also have extensive experience defending clients through the litigation process, including discovery, motion practice, trial and appeal.

Life, Health & Disability Individual Policies

We apply our broad experience to pre-litigation claims, providing our clients with solid advice and insight to protect their rights. We have experience handling a wide range of matters, including:

  • Rescission

  • Residual Disability v. Total Disability

  • Pre-Existing Conditions

  • Legal Disability

  • First Party–Bad Faith

  • Accident v. Sickness

  • Appropriate Care

  • Beneficiary Disputes/Interpleaders

  • Failure to Provide Proof of Loss

  • Pre-Litigation Claims Advice

  • Stranger-Owned/Investor-Owned Life Insurance (STOLI/IOLI)

  • Purchase/Sale of Structured Settlements

  • Agent Misconduct/Compensation Disputes


We represent insurers, employers, employee benefit plans, sponsors and fiduciaries in confronting the ever-expanding issues and claims they face. Our approach to ERISA blends experience with proactive and efficient resolutions. We provide legal advice and handle ERISA matters in the following areas:

  • Benefit Entitlement

  • Plan Interpretation and Administration

  • Recovery of Benefits From Third-Parties

  • Intervention in Workers’ Compensation Cases

  • Breach of Fiduciary Duty

  • Conflicts of Interest

  • Discovery Outside the Administrative Record

  • Standard of Review

  • Exhaustion of Administrative Remedies

  • Claims for Restitution of Plan Benefits

  • Attorneys’ Fees

  • Preemption

  • Removal

  • Beneficiary Disputes/Interpleaders

  • Summary Plan Descriptions

  • ERISA Exemptions: Church and Government Plans

We are admitted in the state and federal courts of Minnesota, Wisconsin, North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa, Nebraska, and South Carolina.