Brignone, Andrew S.
Accomplished ERISA and employment law attorney with more than four decades of experience. Thought leader in employee benefits law. Recognized for years as a leading lawyer in Nevada.

Andy Brignone has worked for over 40 years in employee benefits law, ERISA, labor law and employment law.

Andy is sought after for his insights on employee benefits and has authored or co-authored several articles, including “Recent Developments in Employee Benefits Law” and “Where Family Law Attorneys Fear to Tread: Drafting a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO) to Divide a Pension” (Nevada Bar Communiqué). He co-authored “Infertility as a Protected Disability Under the ADA” and “Recent Developments in Employee Benefits Law—the Impact on Employers” (Nevada Labor Letter).

Andy is an original member of the Editorial Review Board of The Nevada Labor Letter, a publication devoted to education, employee benefits and employment. Over the years, he has been named a leading lawyer in Nevada in the Best Lawyers in America and Chambers USA America’s Leading Business Lawyers, was named “Nevada’s Best Labor Lawyer” by the Nevada Business Journal, and a Nevada Super Lawyer in 2007 by Law and Politics.

Representative Matters
  • Trustees of the Utah Carpenters' and Cement Masons' Pension Trust v. Daw, Inc., 2009 WL 77856 (D. Utah). Employer's successor's withdrawal liability; successor's failure to arbitrate withdrawal liability waived all defenses; successor was not entitled to refund of contributions allegedly made by "mistake."

  • Hartford Fire Insurance Company v. Trustees of the Construction Industry and Laborers Trust Funds, 125 Nev. 16 (2009). ERISA trust funds have standing to assert Little Miller Act bond claims; ERISA trust funds were not required to provide prior notice to general contractor of claim for subcontractor's delinquent trust contributions, owed under Nevada's general contractor liability statute, unlike Little Miller Act bond claims.

  • Trustees of the Utah Carpenters' and Cement Masons' Pension Trust v. New Star/Culp, 2009 WL 1351580 (D. Utah). ERISA plan's motion for attorneys' fees, interest, liquidated damages and costs, was not subject to the 14-day filing limit for attorneys' fees motions, which did not apply to ERISA actions; plan awarded all fees, interest, liquidated damages and costs sought.

  • Janis Carmona v. Judy Carmona, 544 F. 3d 988 (9th Cir. 2008). ERISA preempts efforts by pension plan participant's eighth wife (and widow) to take survivor annuity away from seventh wife, who was married to the participant at the time of his retirement.

  • Trustees of the Utah Carpenters' and Cement Masons' Pension Trust v. New Star/Culp, 2009 WL 321573 (D. Utah). Employer waived all withdrawal liability defenses by failing to arbitrate its claim that it had not withdrawn under the construction industry rules; employer's counterclaim against plan fiduciaries for alleged failure to investigate circumstances of withdrawal also had to be arbitrated, and was not timely raised in any event.

  • Trustees of the Construction Industry and Laborers Health and Welfare Fund et al. v. Redland Insurance [Summit Landscape] et al., 460 F. 3d 1253 (9th Cir. 2006). ERISA plan can recover paralegal fees and online research costs as attorneys' fees under ERISA if billing separately for such items is consistent with standard billing practices of local legal market; lower court decision disallowing all paralegal fees and online charges is reversed.

  • Trustees of the Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 525 v. Developers Surety, 84 P. 3d 59 (Nev. 2004). Trust fund could recover attorneys fees from bonding company in excess of bond amount where bonding company litigated directly against the trust regarding liability.

  • Trustees of the Construction Industry and Laborers Health and Welfare Fund et al. v. Summit Landscape Services et al., 309 F. Supp. 2d 1228 (D. Nev. 2004). ERISA plan can recover contributions from employer and other liable parties, despite employer's claim that employees were not union members and that plan trustee had orally reached an accord and satisfaction: ERISA does not permit unwritten plan obligations.

  • Smith Green Corporation v. Trustees of the Construction Industry Laborers Health Welfare Trust, 244 F. Supp. 2d 1098 (D. Nev. 2003). ERISA preempts state law claims against ERISA plan for intentional interference, breach of contract, etc. and defendant would be sanctioned for asserting them after ERISA plan's counsel provided defendant's attorney with preemption authorities.

  • Trustees of the Construction Industry and Laborers Health and Welfare Trust v. Desert Valley Landscape, Inc., 333 F. 3d 923 (9th Cir. 2003). Jurisdiction over ERISA plan's pendent party claims against non-ERISA defendants is constitutional and lower court erred in dismissing the state claims even though ERISA claims were resolved.

  • Trustees of the Operating Engineers Pension Trust v. Tab Contractors, Inc., 224 F. Supp. 2d 1272 (D. Nev. 2002). ERISA plan cannot be sued by employer under Labor Management Relations Act.

  • U.S. Design v. International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Trust Funds, 50 P. 3d 170 (Nev. 2002). General contractor was liable for unpaid ERISA trust contributions owed by its subcontractor, pursuant to state law, and all trust's attorneys fees, after general contractor lost on summary judgment.

  • Guthart v. White, 263 F. 3d 1099 (9th Cir. 2001). ERISA health plan participant who sued plan for benefits did not perform qualifying work and, although contributions were made to ERISA plan on his behalf, was not entitled to plan coverage or benefits.

  • Trustees of the Construction Industry and Laborers Health and Welfare Trust v. Desert Valley Landscape, 156 F. Supp. 2d 1170 (D. Nev. 2001). ERISA trust can recover defaulted subcontractor's ERISA plan liability from its general contractor although merits of claim were never proven.

  • Trustees of the Cement Masons and Plasterers Health and Welfare Trust v. Fabel Concrete, Inc., 159 F. Supp. 2d 1249 (D. Nev. 2001). A bond held by ERISA employer's alter ego was liable for ERISA employer's debt to ERISA plan.

  • United Association v. Grove, Inc., 105 F. Supp. 2d 1129 (D. Nev. 2000). ERISA does not preempt state law allowing benefit plan to recover plan contributions from employer's general contractor.

  • City of Hope v. Teamsters Local 631 Security Fund, 141 F. 3d 1174 (9th Cir. 1998). Unpublished decision: hospital that had received assignment of ERISA claims from patient could not recover money damages in breach of fiduciary duty case, but was limited to equitable relief, and res judicata prevented hospital from bringing separate suit on same claims.

  • Blackwell v. Transamerica Occidental Life, 707 F. Supp. 437 (D. Nev. 1987). Successful suit against ERISA plan administrator for breach of fiduciary duties in failing to maintain eligibility records in a readily transferable form and to take adequate steps to verify eligibility before authorizing coverage and accepting premium payments. According to the court, this case "presented difficult question of first impression".

News & Events

Former Board of Directors, HealthInsight

Charles England Local 525 Education Scholarship Trust

Southern Nevada Laborers Charitable Foundation

Publications & Presentations
  • J.D., 1974, cum laude, University of Wisconsin Law School
  • B.A., 1970, with high honors, University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • Nevada
  • Wisconsin
  • Montana

AFL-CIO Award, Associated General Contractors of Las Vegas’ Construction Connection, 2014

Top Rated Lawyer in Employee Benefits, American Lawyer Media and Martindale-Hubbell™, 2013

AV® Preeminent™, Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Rating

Best Lawyers in America, 1995-2021

Chambers USA, 2005-2019

Super Lawyers, Mountain States, 2007-2017

Nevada Business Journal, Nevada's Best Labor Lawyer, 1998

Original member, Editorial Review


American Bar Association, Litigation, Labor and Employment Law sections

Board of Arbitrators, National Association of Securities Dealers

Clark County Bar Association

International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans

State Bar of Nevada

State Bar of  Wisconsin

State Bar of  Montana