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Kenton J. Coppage

Kenton J. Coppage

Of Counsel

T (404) 962-1065
F (404) 962-1256
Overview

Kent Coppage's practice is concentrated in life, health and disability insurance litigation and employee benefits litigation under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA).  Kent's ERISA experience includes the defense of employee benefits determinations by self-funded and insured plans, breach of fiduciary duty claims, and statutory penalty claims.  He represents clients at both the trial court and appellate court levels.

In addition to his active representation of clients, Kent speaks and publishes articles on ERISA and insurance topics.  He is the co-author of the ERISA Update column in Life, Health and Disability News, a quarterly newsletter of the Defense Research Institute. He is the Immediate Past Chair of the Life Insurance Law Committee of the ABA's Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section.

Achievements

* 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.

Experience

Representative Work

  • Smith v. Cox Enterprises, Inc., 2015 WL 331116 (N.D. Ga. Jan. 27, 2015) (defended administrator of self-funded ERISA plan in action for disability benefits)
  • Roberson v. McIntosh County School District, 326 Ga. App. 874, 755 S.E. 2d 304 (2014) (defended insurer in claim for life insurance benefits)
  • Dorsey v. Aetna Life Insurance Co., 2013 WL 1288165 (E.D. Va. Mar. 26, 2013) (defended third party administrator in claim for disability benefits under self-funded ERISA plan)
  • Medical Ctr. v. Humana Military Healthcare Services, 2012 WL 3295640 (M.D. Ga. Aug. 10, 2012) (defended TRICARE managed care support contractor in action to recover recouped over-payments)
  • Muhammad v. Humanadental Ins. Co., 2010 WL 457498 (N.D. Ga. Feb. 10, 2010) (defended insurer in claim for dental benefits under ERISA plan)
  • Le Roux v. Woodgrain Millwork, Inc., 2008 WL 1836672 (D. Idaho Apr. 22, 2008) (defended self-funded health benefits plan in an action to recover ERISA benefits)
  • Mitchell v. Globe Life and Accident Ins. Co., 548 F. Supp. 2d 1385 (N.D. Ga. 2007) (defended life insurer in action to recover accidental death benefits)


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

Thought Leadership

Publications

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

  • Contributing author, ERISA Survey of Federal Circuits, American Bar Association (2016, 2014, and 2012 Editions)
  • Co-author, "Enforceability of Contractual Limitations Provisions Under Fire," DRI’s Life, Health and Disability News, November 23, 2015
  • Co-author, "Getting Your Case to Federal Court, and Keeping it There," DRI’s In-House Defense Quarterly, April 2015
  • Co-author, "Heimeshoff: Lower Courts Tackle Unresolved Issues," DRI’s Life, Health and Disability News, March 17, 2015
  • Co-author, "Dudenhoeffer and Stock Drop Cases: Between the Devil and
    the Deep Blue Sea", DRI’s Life, Health and Disability News, September 5, 2014
  • Co-author, "Rochow: Bellwether Decision or Aberrant Outlier?", DRI’s Life, Health and Disability News, February 28, 2014
  • Co-author, "Language of Discretion and Summary Plan Descriptions after CIGNA Corp. v. Amara", DRI’s Life, Health and Disability News, August 27, 2013
  • Co-author, "Social Security Finding of Disability Impacts ERISA Claims Handling", DRI’s Life, Health and Disability News, April 5, 2013
  • Co-author, "Is the Existence of an ERISA Plan a Jurisdictional Issue?", DRI's Life, Health and Disability News, February 24, 2012
  • Co-author, "Hardt Decision: Attorney's Fees and the Future of the Five-Factor Test", DRI's Life, Health and Disability News, December 6, 2010
  • "Are State Laws Prohibiting the Inclusion of Discretionary Clauses Preempted by ERISA?," DRI's ERISA Report, July 23, 2010, Vol. 5, No. 1
  • "The Supreme Court Weighs In", published in TortSource, Fall 2009, Vol. 12, No. 1 (ABA)
  • Co-author, "Kennedy Decision:  What Are the Implications for Welfare Plans?", DRI's Life, Health and Disability News, Spring 2009
  • Co-author, "'Special Procedural or Evidentiary Rules' in Light of MetLife v. Glenn," DRI's Life, Health and Disability News, Fall 2008
  • "Disability Claims: Self-Reported Symptoms Limitations Meet Mixed Results", published in Coverage, September/October 2005, Vol. 15, No. 5 (ABA)
  • "'Any Willing Provider'" Laws Not Preempted under Modified Saving Clause Test, published in DRI's Life, Health, and Disability News, Summer 2003
  • "Individual Insurance Policies May Be Governed by ERISA", published in DRI's For The Defense, February 2003, Vol. 45, No. 2
  • "Life, Health, and Disability Insurance Litigation under ERISA", published in DRI's For The Defense, September 1999, Vol. 41, No. 9
  • "Supreme Court Decisions Revive Arguments for Jury Trials in ERISA Benefit Actions", published in DRI's Life, Health, and Disability News, February 1994

Presentations

  • Foreign Death Claims: Meeting the Challenge of International Claims, Eastern Claims Conference, New York, New York, February 25, 2014
  • Maintaining Federal Jurisdiction after Removal, Defense Research Institute, Life, Health, Disability and ERISA Claims Seminar, Chicago, Illinois, April 29, 2010
  • An Inside Perspective on Life Insurance Issues, American Bar Association, 36th Annual TIPS Midwinter Symposium on Issues and Litigation Relating to Life, Health and Disability Insurance, Insurance Regulation, Employee Benefits and Reinsurance, Bonita Springs, Florida, January 16, 2010
  • What’s on Your Mind? A Panel Discussion of Current Issues Facing In-House Counsel for Life Insurers, American Bar Association, 35th Annual TIPS Midwinter Symposium on Issues and Litigation Relating to Life, Health and Disability Insurance, Insurance Regulation, Employee Benefits and Reinsurance, Bonita Springs, Florida, January 17, 2009
  • ERISA Basics, Institute of Continuing Legal Education in Georgia, Atlanta, Georgia, March 24, 2005
  • Update on Standard of Review Issues in ERISA, Defense Research Institute, Life, Health, and Disability Insurance/ERISA Litigation Seminar, Washington, D.C., April 16, 2004
  • Navigating COBRA, Lorman Education Services, COBRA Coverage Seminar, Atlanta, Georgia, November 6, 1998
Community
  • Volunteer attorney for Georgia Asylum and Immigration Network
Industries
Education
  • University of Georgia, B.A., summa cum laude, 1987
  • University of Georgia School of Law, J.D., cum laude, 1990
Admissions
  • Georgia, 1990
  • Georgia Supreme Court
  • United States Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit
  • United States District Court, Northern District of Georgia
  • Georgia Court of Appeals
  • United States District Court, Southern District of Georgia
  • United States District Court, Middle District of Georgia
  • United States District Court, Eastern District of Tennessee
Affiliations
  • American Bar Association (Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section)
    • Employee Benefits Committee
    • Health and Disability Insurance Law Committee
    • Life Insurance Law Committee, Immediate Past Chair
  • Georgia State Bar
    • Tort and Insurance Law Section
    • Appellate Practice Section
  • Atlanta Bar Association
  • Federal Bar Association
  • Defense Research Institute
    • Appellate Advocacy Committee
    • Life, Health and Disability Committee
  • Association of Life Insurance Counsel
  • International Claim Association
Academic Honors
  • Phi Beta Kappa
  • Phi Kappa Phi
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