Quimbee logo
DMCA.com Protection Status
From our private database of 16,500+ case briefs...

Gobeille v. Liberty Mutual Insurance Company

Supreme Court of the United States
136 S. Ct. 936 (2016)


The state of Vermont (defendant) enacted a law requiring health insurers and healthcare providers to report any information relating to healthcare costs to a state agency. Insurers were also required to submit data on members’ claims. The federal Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) included a clause preempting all state laws relating to employee benefit plans. Liberty Mutual Insurance Company (Liberty) (plaintiff) offered a health plan to its employees. Liberty’s plan was subject to ERISA regulations. Liberty’s plan was administered through Blue Cross Blue Shield (Blue Cross). Vermont issued a subpoena to Blue Cross, ordering Blue Cross to transmit all the files it possessed on members in Vermont. Liberty, concerned that such disclosure might violate its duty of confidentiality, instructed Blue Cross not to comply. Liberty then filed suit in federal court, seeking a declaration that ERISA preempted application of Vermont’s statute. Liberty also sought an injunction forbidding Vermont from trying to acquire data about Liberty’s health insurance plan. Vermont argued that Liberty could not properly bring a claim because Liberty did not demonstrate that it suffered economic damage. Vermont also argued that its law was proper because states traditionally had the power to regulate the area of public health. The trial court granted summary judgment to Vermont. The appeals court reversed. The case was then brought before the Supreme Court of the United States.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Kennedy, J.)

Concurrence (Breyer, J.)

Concurrence (Thomas, J.)

Dissent (Ginsburg, J.)

What to do next…

  1. Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.

    You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 97,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Vanderbilt, Berkeley, and the University of Illinois—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students. Read our student testimonials.

  2. Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.

    Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students. Read more about Quimbee.

Here's why 408,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:

  • Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 16,500 briefs, keyed to 223 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
  • The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
  • Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
  • Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.

Questions & Answers

Have a question about this case?

Sign up for a free 7-day trial and ask it

Sign up for a FREE 7-day trial