Matthew Mazzola

Matthew P. Mazzola

Associate

Matthew P. Mazzola

Associate

  • Overview

    Biography

    Matthew Mazzola, a member of the firm’s Health and Benefits Litigation Group, handles litigation related to life, health, and disability benefits; employee benefits; and insurance coverage.

    Employee and Group Benefits Litigation

    Mr. Mazzola focuses his practice in the areas of health care; the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) and managed care litigation; life, health, and disability benefit litigation; related insurance coverage issues; and medical malpractice litigation. He has successfully defended life, health, and disability claims brought in state and federal court against insurers, plan administrators, employers, and managed care organizations, including in cases governed by ERISA. Mr. Mazzola has also written several appellate briefs for clients in the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit involving complicated legal issues in ERISA-governed cases. He regularly writes on ERISA matters for his clients and colleagues in the legal industry.

    Insurance Litigation

    Mr. Mazzola has significant experience defending insurers and private corporations in the areas of premises liability, general negligence, property and casualty defense, and the New York State Labor Law. He has achieved favorable results for these insurers and private corporations in both state and federal court. He also advises clients on complicated legal issues concerning the interpretation of contracts and insurance policies.

    Mr. Mazzola has been selected as a Rising Star to the New York Metro Super Lawyers list since 2015. While in law school, he was a member of the Pace University School of Law Moot Court and Trial Advocacy Teams and participated in several national competitions.

  • Experience
    • Experience

      Experience

      • Defended leading health insurer in a case involving a claim for state law breach of fiduciary duty where plaintiff challenged the manner in which the defendant health insurer administered an ERISA-regulated health plan. Obtained a dismissal on the ground that the plaintiff's state law claims were completely preempted by ERISA. *

      • Defended leading health insurer in a case involving claims for state law breach of contract, defamation, discrimination, and negligent misrepresentation where plaintiffs alleged that insurer improperly denied their claims for benefits related to in vitro fertilization based on their sexual orientation. Obtained a dismissal on the grounds that the health insurer properly adjudicated the claims pursuant to the terms of the governing health plan and that the plaintiffs' allegations read in a light most favorable to them left no question that there was no actionable claim. *

      • Defended leading disability insurer in a case involving a claim for ERISA disability benefits in which the plaintiff alleged that the defendant insurer acted in an arbitrary and capricious manner in denying his claim by improperly relying on the opinions of several independent peer review doctors as well as the reports of its in-house vocational experts and for failing to consider the Social Security Administration's award of benefits. Obtained a summary judgment dismissing the plaintiff's complaint on the grounds that the disability insurer's adverse benefit determination was reasonable, based on substantial evidence, and not arbitrary and capricious. In addition, obtained a summary judgment granting defendant insurer's counterclaim for overpaid benefits. *

      • Defended leading disability insurer in a case involving a claim for ERISA disability benefits in which the plaintiff argued that, based on her diagnosis of multiple sclerosis, she was entitled to benefits. Obtained a favorable appellate ruling in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit reversing judgment for the plaintiff and entering judgment in favor of the defendant on the grounds that the District Court erred by finding that the defendant insurer/claim administrator acted arbitrarily and capriciously in denying plaintiff's claim for continuing disability benefits related to her multiple sclerosis diagnosis because her condition had improved and no longer met the ERISA's plan's definition of disabled. *

      • Obtained a summary judgment dismissing the plaintiffs' complaint in its entirety against defendant disability insurer, including the plaintiff plan participant's state law claims on the grounds that they were preempted by ERISA and her claim seeking an award of short-term disability benefits under an ERISA-regulated benefit plan on the grounds that the defendant insurer's adverse benefit determination was based on substantial evidence, and/or the lack thereof, and not arbitrary and capricious. In addition, obtained a summary judgment dismissing co-plaintiff's (i.e. the plan participant's relative) state law claims for breach of contract, negligent infliction of emotional distress, and intentional infliction of emotional distress related to the purported inadvertent release of her medical information on the grounds that the available evidence before the court did not satisfy the elements necessary to succeed on her state law causes of action. Obtained an affirmance in the Second Circuit of the district court's decision. *

      • Successfully represented leading health insurer at trial in New York City Civil Court in a case involving a claim for health benefits. Convinced trial court that plaintiff's complaint should be dismissed for failing to provide sufficient evidence to prove her claim. *

      • Defended insurer in mandatory arbitration in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York in a claim for accidental death and dismemberment benefits. Obtained a favorable ruling from the arbitrator, dismissing plaintiff's claim in its entirety after the arbitrator found that, based on the evidence and arguments presented, decedent's death was the result of a suicide and, therefore, not accidental. *

      • Defended leading life insurer in a case involving state law claims for negligence, negligent misrepresentation, and breach of fiduciary duty where plaintiff alleged that she was entitled to $440,000 related to her deceased husband's failure to convert his ERISA-based life insurance coverage to an individual life insurance policy. Obtained an affirmance in the Second Circuit of the district court's order granting defendant life insurer summary judgment on the grounds that plaintiff's causes of action were completely preempted by ERISA. *

      * Atty. Mazzola was counsel in these representative matters before joining Robinson+Cole.

    • Honors + Awards

      Honors + Awards

      Selected as a Rising Star to the New York Metro Super Lawyers list from 2015 to 2017.

  • NEWS + PRESS
    • Publications

      Publications

      "Second Circuit," Chapter 2, ERISA Survey of Federal Circuits (2012, 2014, and 2016 Editions)

      "The Second Circuit’s Recent Decision on State Anti-Subrogation Laws Pokes a Hole in Otherwise Uniform Application of Federal Health Benefit Law," published in ABA's Health eSource (December 2014)

      "Recent Circuit Court Decisions May Limit Discovery in ERISA Health Benefit Litigation," published in ABA's Health eSource (February 2011)

    • Presentations

      Presentations

      "Sorry, I Spent It: Effect of Anti-Subrogation Laws for ERISA Plan Benefits," presented at the Eastern Claims Conference, New York, New York (March 2016)

      "Fraud Protection Privilege — Consider What You Write," (January 2016)

    • News

      R+C News Releases

      • October 17, 2017

        Robinson+Cole Lawyers Recognized by Super Lawyers®

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