Jeannine C. Jacobson


  • Overview


    Jeannine Jacobson focuses her practice on litigation related to the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA); managed care; insurance coverage; and life, health, disability, and accidental death and dismemberment (AD&D) benefits. She is an experienced trial and appellate lawyer who has achieved favorable results for clients in state and federal courts and through alternative dispute resolution. Jeannine is a member of the firm’s Managed Care + Employee Benefit Litigation Group.

    Health and Benefits Litigation

    Jeannine regularly represents life, health, and disability benefit plans, insurance companies, claim administrators, and self-funded plan sponsors. In addition to ERISA cases, she routinely handles cases brought under Florida state law, the Federal Employees Health Benefits Act (FEHBA), and the Federal Employees' Group Life Insurance (FEGLI) program. Her experience also includes litigation involving Medicare preemption, nonparticipating provider reimbursement claims, and behavioral health claim disputes, including claims alleging violations of federal and state Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity laws.

    Jeannine handles litigation at all stages, from the initial claim through trial and appeal, and she has handled more than 20 appeals in federal and state courts. She has frequently obtained summary judgment rulings and favorable appellate rulings, resulting in significant financial savings for clients. She gives presentations on topics involving ERISA and group benefits at conferences and seminars around the country.

    Community Involvement

    As a proponent of community work, Jeannine has volunteered with the Posse Foundation, an organization that identifies public high school students with extraordinary academic and leadership potential who might otherwise be overlooked by the traditional college selection process. With that objective in mind, she assists the Foundation as a resume coach. She also has served as a Florida election observer since 2004.

    Jeannine began her career serving as a law clerk for the Honorable Martha Warner of Florida’s Fourth District Court of Appeal. While in law school, she was a founding member of the Duke Journal of Gender Law and Policy.

  • Experience
    • Experience


        Trial Court Rulings

      • Denial of class certification motion brought by mental health provider and similarly situated providers for alleged violation of federal mental health parity laws in administration of health plans. 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 136484 (E.D. Pa. Aug. 10, 2018).

      • Obtained summary judgment for health insurer in ERISA matter where plaintiff challenged level of care decision involving behavioral health benefits. Court concluded that ERISA plan allowed insurer to delegate discretionary authority to its designee, that designee was allowed to rely on its level of care guidelines in reaching its decision, and that the decision following an external review was not a merely ministerial act which stripped insurer of its discretion. Court further concluded that, while the insurer’s decision was reasonable and free of conflict under the arbitrary and capricious standard of review, the decision was also de novo correct. 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 26811 (S.D. Fla. Feb. 16, 2018).

      • Defeated motion to remand action against health insurer to state court where plan participant contended that ERISA no longer governed after plan ceased to cover non-owner employees. 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 136506 (M.D. Fla. Aug. 25, 2017). *

      • Obtained summary judgment for medical plan and its claims administrator upholding medical necessity determination as to level of care for eating disorder treatment and finding no conflict of interest due to self-funded nature of plan — 2016 WL 2735677 (S.D. Fla. 2016). *

      • Obtained summary judgment for liability insurer under claims-made policy where notice of potential claim did not seek relief as required by policy to trigger coverage, because relief was interpreted to mean judicial relief. 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 185096 (S.D. Fla. May 5, 2015). *

      • Obtained summary judgment for insurer in accidental death case where felony exclusion precluded coverage due to insured committing multiple felonies at time of death — 2012 WL 5355640 (M.D. Fla. 2012). *

      • Obtained dismissal with prejudice of claim for breach of implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing in first party insurance dispute — 2011 WL 6132254 (M.D. Fla. 2011). *

      • Obtained judgment for marine engine manufacturer where court rejected boat purchaser’s
        claim of fraudulent inducement due to parties’ adversarial relationship at time of prior release and settlement agreement — 2010 WL 529323 (S.D. Fla. 2010). *

      • Obtained summary judgment for insurer in ERISA action where medical and vocational reviews supported claimant's ability to perform own occupation as vice president of operations for construction company despite heart condition — aff’d, 170 Fed. Appx. 108 (11th Cir. 2006). *

      • Obtained summary judgment for insurer in ERISA action where home health care nurse was not disabled due to fibromyalgia/chronic fatigue syndrome from "any gainful occupation" based on her sedentary work capacity — aff’d, 195 Fed. Appx. 904 (11th Cir. 2006). *

      • Obtained summary judgment for insurer in ERISA action where claimant provided only attending physician’s post hoc certification of disability, which was unsupported by records contemporaneous with date of disability — 2005 WL 2428537 (M.D. Fla. 2005). *

      • Appeals

      • Obtained affirmance of decision for insurer in accidental death case where medical examiner could not determine cause of death and insured failed to prove death was the result of an accident — 2013 WL 1249547 (N.D. Fla.), aff’d, 543 Fed. Appx. 977 (11th Cir. 2013). *

      • Obtained vacatur of attorney's fees award in remand order under 28 U.S.C. § 1447(c) (11th Cir. 2009). *

      • Obtained affirming summary judgment for business owner in premises liability lawsuit where alleged negligence was not proximate cause of customer’s injuries as a matter of law — 347 Fed. Appx. 526 (11th Cir. 2009).

      • Obtained affirmance of decision exempting loan proceeds requested by debtor under whole life insurance policy from garnishment due to statutory exemption for cash surrender value in "whatever form" — 785 So. 2d 636 (Fla. 4th DCA 2001). *

      • In case of first impression, obtained reversal of decision prohibiting health insurer from denying claim based on failure to timely pay where interest was only penalty afforded by statute requiring claims decision within 45 days — 773 So. 2d 75 (Fla. 2nd DCA 2000). *

      • back to top

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

    • Professional Associations

      Professional Associations

      The Florida Bar

      Defense Research Institute
      Life, Health, and Disability Marketing Subcommittee

      American Bar Association
      Vice-Chair, Tort and Insurance Practice Health & Disability Committee

      Federal Bar Association
    • Community Involvement

      Community Involvement

      The Posse Foundation
      Resume coach
    • Publications


      "Conversion, Portability and Evidence of Insurability: Mistakes Will Be Made," (4/3/2019)
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      "Case Study: Hogan v. Gray Gable," published in Law360 (4/28/2010)

    • Presentations


      "Into the Wilderness: Recent Developments in Federal Parity Act Litigation," presented at the ABA's "46th Annual TIPS Mid-Winter Symposium on Insurance and Employee Benefits (1/17/2020)
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      "Conversion, Portability, and Evidence of Insurability: Mistakes Will Be Made," at the Defense Research Institute's Life, Health, Disability and ERISA seminar in Chicago, Illinois. (4/3/2019)
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      "Suspicious Deaths & Suicide—Coverage, Claims, Investigation, and Litigation," at ABA TIPS Mid-Winter Symposium on Insurance and Employee Benefits.  (1/11/2018 - 1/13/2018)
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    • News

      R+C in the News

      • April 8, 2019

        Pat Begos, Jeannine Jacobson and Ted Tucci Speak at DRI Seminar

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      • January 16, 2018

        Jeannine Jacobson Presents at ABA TIPS Mid-Winter Symposium on Insurance and Employee Benefits

        • » more info