Sanders is a litigation partner with extensive trial experience in federal and state courts. He represents the nation’s leading life insurance companies throughout Georgia and in other states where he has been admitted pro hac vice. His practice is focused on representing insurers in actions to recover benefits under policies of life, health, disability, accidental death, managed healthcare insurance and annuity contracts. He defends ERISA claims alleging breach of fiduciary duties and to recover employee benefits, and defends insurers in cases based on agent misconduct. He also represents life insurers and their subsidiaries in business disputes with third parties.
- Richardson v. Liberty Life Assurance Co. of Boston, 812 Fed.Appx. 970 (11th Cir. 2020) (insured’s monthly disability benefits were properly reduced by his receipt of payments under his former employer’s Financial Advisor Succession Program).
- Crumbliss v. Northwestern Mut. Life Ins. Co., 455 F. Supp. 3d 1376 (N.D. Ga. 2020) (beneficiary’s lack of awareness that husband’s life insurance policy had lapsed for nonpayment of premiums did not excuse failure to submit timely claim for waiver of premium benefits).
- In Re Walker, 2019 WL 913354 (M.D. Ga. Bankr. Feb. 21, 2019) (insured’s repayment of disability benefits under ERISA plan, due to receipt of SSDI benefits, was made in the usual course of business, and was not a preferential transfer under bankruptcy law).
- Nefsky v. Unum Life Ins. Co. of Am., 2017 WL 621269 (N.D. Ga. Feb. 15, 2017), motion for reconsideration denied, 2017 WL 3700305 (N.D. Ga. Aug. 8, 2017) (impaired vision in one eye did not cause dealer in watches, jewelry and silverware to be totally disabled).
- Silverman v. Unum Life Ins. Co. of Am., 2016 WL 6211728 (N.D. Ga. July 12, 2016) (insured who was already totally disabled by sickness could not recover lifetime benefits based on subsequent injury that, standing alone, would have been totally disabling).
- Joseph v. Northwestern Mut. Life Ins. Co.,2015 WL 1309648 (M.D. Ga. Mar. 24, 2015) (claim for disability benefits was barred by insured’s failure to provide notice of claim and proof of loss within time required by the policy).
- Royal v. New York Life Insurance Co.,2015 WL 339781 (S.D. Ga. Jan. 26, 2015) (claim for disability benefits was barred by insured’s failure to file suit within time permitted by legal actions provision and by failure to provide timely proof of loss).
- Burnett v. Combined Ins. Co. of Am., 2011 WL 6012523 (M.D. Ga. Dec. 1, 2011) (second disabling injury sustained during period of continuous total disability did not entitle insured to a new maximum benefit period).
- Provident Life and Accident Ins. Co. v. Futch, 2008 WL 4724827 (S.D. Ga. Oct. 24, 2008) (surgeon was not eligible to recover lifetime disability benefits, based on claim that bilateral osteoarthritis of the hips was due to accidental bodily injuries, rather than due to sickness).
- White v. New York Life Ins. Co., 564 F. Supp. 2d 1372 (S.D. Ga. 2008) (lapse of life insurance policy for failure to pay premiums was not excused by insured's alleged mental incapacity).
- Cowart v. Metropolitan Life Ins. Co., 444 F. Supp. 2d 1282 (M.D. Ga. 2006),aff'd199 Fed. App'x 870 (11th Cir. 2006) (individual disability policy was part of ERISA plan and did not come within Department of Labor "safe harbor," in view of evidence that employer paid premiums).
- Karp v. Guardian Life Ins. Co. of Am., 456 F. Supp. 2d 1375 (S.D. Ga. 2006) (termination of disability benefits under ERISA plan, and plaintiff's award of Social Security disability benefits, was not a "qualifying event" requiring former employer to offer continuation health insurance under COBRA).
- Powers v. Paul Revere Life Ins. Co., 2005 WL 6075373 (N.D. Ga. Oct. 19, 2005) (letter to insured from insurance agent did not amend disability policy to add cost of living benefits).
- Kocer v. New York Life Ins. Co., 340 F. Supp. 2d 1351 (N.D. Ga. 2004) (disability benefits were not payable to physician whose license to practice medicine was revoked, thereby resulting in "legal disability" before the onset of factual disability).
- Worsham v. Provident Cos., Inc., 249 F. Supp. 2d 1325 (N.D. Ga. 2002) (merger clause of disability policy barred plaintiff's fraud and RICO claims based on representations allegedly made by agent).
- Yessick v. Midland Life Ins. Co., 178 F. Supp. 2d 1301 (N.D. Ga. 2001) (proof of customary, computerized procedures was sufficient to establish that premium invoice and lapse notice were mailed to insured).
- McAfee v. Transamerica Occidental Life Ins. Co., 106 F. Supp. 2d 1331 (N.D. Ga. 2000),aff'd mem., 252 F.3d 1362 (11th Cir. 2001),reh. denied, 268 F.3d 1069 (11th Cir. 2001),cert. denied,534 U.S. 994 (2001) (insured's death in shootout with police was not covered under accidental death insurance policy).
Before Fox Rothschild
Sanders was a partner and Leader of the Life, Health, Disability, and ERISA Litigation Practice at Smith Moore Leatherwood LLP, which combined with Fox Rothschild in 2018.
Beyond Fox Rothschild
Sanders is the Publications Chair of the Life, Health and Disability Committee of the Defense Research Institute and the founding editor of ERISA Report, a DRI newsletter. He has written on life insurance and ERISA issues for many years and has spoken at seminars of the American Conference Institute, the Defense Research Institute, the Eastern Claims Conference, the Blue Cross/Blue Shield Association, the Southern Claims Conference and other organizations.
Honors & Awards
- Named to "The Best Lawyers in America" list for Insurance Law in Georgia by Best Lawyers (2010-2021)
- Martindale-Hubbell's top (AV) Peer Review Rating