Rush Prudential HMO, Inc. v. Moran, 536 U.S. 355, 25 (2002)

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Cite as: 536 U. S. 355 (2002)

Opinion of the Court

cantly expanded the potential scope of ultimate liability imposed upon employers by the ERISA scheme.

Since Pilot Life, we have found only one other state law to "conflict" with 1132(a) in providing a prohibited alternative remedy. In Ingersoll-Rand Co. v. McClendon, 498 U. S. 133 (1990), we had no trouble finding that Texas's tort of wrongful discharge, turning on an employer's motivation to avoid paying pension benefits, conflicted with ERISA enforcement; while state law duplicated the elements of a claim available under ERISA, it converted the remedy from an equitable one under 1132(a)(3) (available exclusively in federal district courts) into a legal one for money damages (available in a state tribunal). Thus, Ingersoll-Rand fit within the category of state laws Pilot Life had held to be incompatible with ERISA's enforcement scheme; the law provided a form of ultimate relief in a judicial forum that added to the judicial remedies provided by ERISA. Any such provision patently violates ERISA's policy of inducing employers to offer benefits by assuring a predictable set of liabilities, under uniform standards of primary conduct and a uniform regime of ultimate remedial orders and awards when a violation has occurred. See Pilot Life, supra, at 56 (" 'The uniformity of decision . . . will help administrators . . . predict the legality of proposed actions without the necessity of reference to varying state laws' " (quoting H. R. Rep. No. 93-533, p. 12 (1973))); 481 U. S., at 56 ("The expectations that a federal common law of rights and obligations under ERISA-regulated plans would develop . . . would make little sense if the remedies available to ERISA participants and benefici-aries under [ 1132(a)] could be supplemented or supplanted by varying state laws").

But this case addresses a state regulatory scheme that provides no new cause of action under state law and authorizes no new form of ultimate relief. While independent review under 4-10 may well settle the fate of a benefit claim under a particular contract, the state statute does not en-

379

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