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H. Sanders Carter Jr.

H. Sanders Carter Jr.

Partner, Life, Health, Disability Leader

T (404) 962-1015
F (404) 962-1220

Sanders Carter is a litigation partner with extensive trial experience in federal and state courts.  He leads the firm's Life, Health, Disability, and ERISA Litigation Practice.

Sanders represents the nation’s leading life insurance companies throughout Georgia and in other states where he had 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, defending ERISA claims alleging breach of fiduciary duties and to recover employee benefits, and defending insurers in cases based on agent misconduct. He also represents broker-dealer subsidiaries of insurers in FINRA arbitrations.

Sanders is the Publications Chair of the Life, Health and Disability Committee of the Defense Research Institute, is the founding editor of ERISA Report, a DRI newsletter, and is co-editor of ERISA and Life Insurance News, a Smith Moore Leatherwood publication. 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.

  • Listed, The Best Lawyers in America® (Woodward/White, Inc.), Insurance Law (2010-2018)
  • Martindale-Hubbell's top ("AV") Peer Review Rating *

* CV, BV, and AV are registered certification marks of Reed Elsevier Properties Inc., used in accordance with the Martindale-Hubbell certification procedure's standards and policies.


Representative Work

  • 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) (whether impaired vision in one eye caused 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) (whether insured who was already totally disabled by sickness could recover lifetime benefits based on subsequent injury that, standing along, would have been totally disabling).
  • Joseph v. Northwestern Mut. Life Ins. Co., 2015 WL 1309648 (M.D. Ga. Mar. 24, 2015) (whether 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) (whether 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) (whether second disabling injury sustained during period of continuous total disability entitled insured to a new maximum benefit period).
  • Provident Life and Accident Ins. Co. v. Futch, 2008 WL 4724827 (S.D. Ga. Oct. 24, 2008) (whether surgeon was 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) (whether lapse of life insurance policy for failure to pay premiums was excused by insured's alleged mental incapacity).
  • Cowart v. Metropolitan Life Ins. Co., 444 F. Supp. 2d 1282 (M.D. Ga. 2006), aff'd 199 Fed. App'x 870 (11th Cir. 2006) (whether individual disability policy was part of ERISA plan or came 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) (whether termination of disability benefits under ERISA plan, or plaintiff's award of Social Security disability benefits, was 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) (whether letter to insured from insurance agent amended disability policy to add cost of living benefits).
  • Kocer v. New York Life Ins. Co., 340 F. Supp. 2d 1351 (N.D. Ga. 2004) (whether disability benefits were 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) (whether 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) (whether 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) (whether insured's death in shootout with police was covered under accidental death insurance policy).

* Past success does not indicate the likelihood of success in any future legal representation.

Thought Leadership


October 2017
ERISA and Life Insurance News, ERISA and Life Insurance News
May 2017
ERISA and Life Insurance News, ERISA and Life Insurance News
November, 2016
November, 2016
April, 2016
Adverse Tax Impact Not Remediable under ERISA , ERISA and Life Insurance News
April, 2016
September 14, 2015
September 14, 2015
May 12, 2015
May 30, 2014
February 6, 2012
October 17, 2011
Insurer May Waive Policy Provisions, ERISA and Life Insurance News
October 17, 2011
Plan Participant May Be Able to Claim Benefits, ERISA and Life Insurance News
April 22, 2011
CIGNA v. Amara, ERISA and Life Insurance News
April 20, 2011

Published Works

  • Co-author, Georgia chapter, “The Law of Life Insurance, Key Issues in Each State.” Defense Research Institute (2017)
  • “SPD May Be the Plan, Despite Reference to a Non-Existent ‘Official Plan Document.’” ERISA Report (September 2017)
  • “‘ERISA-fication’ – When Will an Individual Policy Be Governed by ERISA as Part of an Employer’s Plan?”  Co-author.  ERISA Report (December 2016)
  • “Supreme Court ERISA Decision May Contribute to Friction between Providers and Health Plans.”  Co-author.  ERISA Report (April 2016)
  • "Do Healthcare Providers Have Standing to Sue as ERISA Plan Beneficiaries?"  ERISA Report (August 2015)
  • "May an ERISA Plan Restrict Venue to a Single Federal District?" ERISA Report (December 2014)
  • "Pending Claim for Attorney's Fees Does Not Postpone Deadline to File Appeal from Judgment on the Merits." ERISA Report (April 2014).
  • "Benefit Stripping' Amendment to ERISA Plan Is Permissible in Context of Welfare Benefits." ERISA Report (September 2013).
  • "Circuits Split over Whether ERISA Section 510 Applies to Retaliation Claims Based on Informal Complaints."  ERISA Report (December 2012).
  • "Collateral Order Doctrine Does Not Authorize Immediate Appeal of Order Remanding Claim to ERISA Fiduciary."  ERISA Report (July 2012).
  • "Another Circuit Applies the Moench Presumption in 'Stock Drop' Cases."  ERISA Report (February 2012).
  • "Fourth Circuit Applies Fiduciary Exception to Attorney-Client Privilege."  ERISA Report (July 2011).
  • "The Impact of the Baby Boomers/Employee Benefits," SML Perspectives, Volume One, 2011
  • "Claims Administrator Not Acting as Fiduciary When Negotiating General Reimbursement Rates."  ERISA Report (December 2010).
  • "While ERISA Attorney's Fee Claimant Need Not Be 'Prevailing Party,' Some Success on the Merits is Required."  ERISA Report (July 2010).
  • "Ignoring Request for Administrative Record May Excuse Participant's Failure to Exhaust."  ERISA Report (January 2010).
  • "Pension Benefits Dispute Turns on a Basic ERISA Principle – The Plan Documents Control."  ERISA Report (August 2009).


  • Time's Up! When Is a Lawsuit to Recover ERISA Benefits Too Late? Defense Research Institute Life, Health, Disability and ERISA Seminar, Chicago, Illinois. April 30, 2014.
  • Obamacare Is Here to Stay – Practical Considerations in Anticipation of Full Implementation of the Affordable Care Act.  International Association of Defense Counsel, webinar.  December 12, 2012.
  • Focus on the Administrative Record – The ERISA Claims Representative as Sleuth.  Eastern Claims Conference, New York, New York.  March 3, 2010.
  • Life Insurance Case Law Update.  Eastern Claims Conference, New York, New York.  March 2, 2010.
  • The Impact of MetLife v. Glenn on ERISA Litigation.  Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company, Enfield, Connecticut.  April 16, 2009.
  • ERISA – Life after MetLife v. Glenn.  Eastern Claims Conference, New York, New York.  March 3, 2009.
  • When Can Plaintiffs (and Even Defendants) Recover Attorney's Fees in ERISA Cases?  American Conference Institute, Eleventh National Advanced Forum on Litigating Disability Insurance Claims, Boston, Massachusetts.  June 11-12, 2008.
  • Significant Cases during the Past Year in the Disability Law Arena.  American Conference Institute, Tenth National Advanced Forum on Resolving Disability Insurance Claims and Litigation, Boston, Massachusetts.  June 6-7, 2007.
  • Strategic Considerations for Litigating the Disability Claims Suit.  American Conference Institute, Ninth National Advanced Forum on Litigating Disability Insurance Claims, Miami, Florida.  February 23-24, 2006.
  • Difficult Issues Facing Insureds, Insurers, and Their Counsel.  American Conference Institute, Eighth National Advanced Forum on Litigating Disability Insurance Claims, Coral Gables, Florida.  March 3-4, 2005.
  • Cutting Edge Issues in Behavioral Health Disability Claims.  American Conference Institute, Seventh National Advanced Forum on Litigating Disability Insurance Claims, Boston, Massachusetts.  June 10-11, 2004.
  • University of Georgia, A.B.J., 1965
  • University of Georgia School of Law, J.D., 1967
  • Georgia Court of Appeals, 1967
  • Georgia Supreme Court, 1967
  • United States District Court, Middle District of Georgia, 1980
  • United States District Court, Northern District of Georgia, 1972
  • Georgia, 1967
  • United States District Court, Southern District of Georgia, 1986
  • United States Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit, 1999
  • United States Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit, 1981
  • Association of Life Insurance Counsel
  • International Association of Defense Counsel
  • Defense Research Institute
    • Life, Health and Disability Committee
  • American Bar Association
    • Litigation Section
    • Tort, Trial & Insurance Practice Section
      • Life Insurance Law Committee
      • Health and Disability Law Committee
      • Employee Benefits Committee
  • Georgia Defense Lawyers Association
  • State Bar of Georgia
  • Atlanta Bar Association
  • Lawyers Club of Atlanta
Military Service
  • U.S. Army

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