ERISA is a federal statute that regulates employee benefit plans.  In many lawsuits which involve the adjudication of benefits under ERISA plans, plaintiffs often serve the U.S. Department of Labor Secretary pursuant to a provision in the statute which allows them to do so when an employee-benefit plan has not designated an “individual” as the proper agent for service. Recently, in Burton v. Colorado Access, the Colorado Supreme Court held corporations meet the definition of “individuals” for purposes of receiving “notice” of lawsuits from Plaintiffs under ERISA. The Burton holding is significant because corporations now have clear direction concerning their entitlement to receive direct notice of ERISA lawsuits, so far as they designate the corporation itself as the proper agent for service in their Summary Plan Descriptions.

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