Mealey's ERISA

  • March 07, 2024

    Plaintiffs Beat Dismissal Bid In ERISA Fees, Funds Row Despite Documents Ruling

    LOS ANGELES — Ruling in part that certain documents were incorporated by reference into the amended complaint, a California federal judge denied dismissal of a putative class case against Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and related defendants over a 403(b) retirement plan’s fees and funds.

  • March 07, 2024

    Exhaustion Of Remedies Under LTD Plan Not Required Prior To Filing Suit

    TACOMA, Wash. — A disability insurer’s motion for judgment on the pleadings must be denied because the long-term disability (LTD) plan at issue did not require the disability claimant to exhaust all administrative remedies prior to filing suit, a Washington federal judge concluded in denying the insurer’s motion.

  • March 07, 2024

    Former Twitter Officers File ERISA Suit For Severance Against Musk, Others

    OAKLAND, Calif. — Alleging that Elon Musk “fired them without reason, then made up fake cause and appointed employees of his various companies to uphold his decision,” four former Twitter Inc. officers or executives sued Musk and other defendants in California federal court, asserting Employee Retirement Income Security Act claims for severance benefits, equitable relief and statutory penalties.

  • March 07, 2024

    Judge Refuses To Compel Disability Claimant To Exhaust Administrative Remedies

    PORTLAND, Ore. — An Oregon federal judge denied a disability plan’s motion to compel a disability claimant to exhaust all administrative remedies because the disability plan failed to adhere to the 45-day deadline for deciding a claimant’s appeal of a long-term disability (LTD) benefits claim and failed to show that a special circumstance existed that warranted an extension to the 45-day deadline.

  • March 06, 2024

    Disability Insurer Abused Its Discretion In Denying LTD Benefits, Judge Determines

    ALEXANDRIA, Va. — A disability insurer abused its discretion in denying a claim for long-term disability (LTD) benefits because the insurer failed to consider the opinions of the claimant’s treating physicians and failed to consider whether the claimant’s heart condition and health would deteriorate if he was forced to work in a high-stress job, a Virginia federal judge said in granting the claimant’s motion for summary judgment and denying the insurer’s motion for summary judgment.

  • March 06, 2024

    Award Of Attorney Fees, Costs Not Warranted Based On Remand Of Claim, Judge Says

    TULSA, Okla. — A disability claimant is not entitled to an award of attorney fees or costs based on the remand of the claimant’s short-term disability (STD) claim to the plan administrator because the remand order was a procedural ruling and does not constitute a success on the merits of the claim, an Oklahoma federal judge said in denying the claimant’s motion for an award of attorney fees and costs.

  • March 06, 2024

    LTD Benefits Must Be Reinstated, Kentucky Federal Judge Says

    OWENSBORO, Ky. — A disability claimant’s long-term disability (LTD) benefits must be reinstated because the disability insurer’s termination of benefits is not supported by the medical evidence, a Kentucky federal judge said in granting the disability claimant’s motion for judgment.

  • March 06, 2024

    11th Circuit Again Rules Against Dermatologist In ERISA Assignment Row

    ATLANTA — Saying in an unpublished per curiam opinion that a dermatologist’s “arguments are foreclosed by the prior panel precedent rule,” an 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel issued the latest of many rulings against her over patients’ purported assignment of benefits.

  • March 06, 2024

    $19M Deal In ERISA Row Over Proprietary Funds Wins Preliminary Approval

    NEW YORK — A New York federal judge on March 5 granted preliminary approval of a $19 million class settlement in an Employee Retirement Income Security Act suit challenging the use of proprietary investments in two New York Life Insurance Co. 401(k) plans and use of a stable value fund as the default investment.

  • March 06, 2024

    Certiorari Filing Deadline Extended In ERISA Preemption Case Over Oklahoma PBM Law

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — Oklahoma regulators now have until April 10 to file a certiorari petition seeking U.S. Supreme Court review of an August opinion ruling an Oklahoma pharmaceutical benefit manager (PBM) law partially preempted by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act and Medicare Part D.

  • March 06, 2024

    Disability Claimant Not Provided Full, Fair Review, Texas Federal Judge Says

    DALLAS — A Texas federal judge remanded a claim for long-term disability (LTD) benefits to the plan administrator after determining that the claimant was deprived of a full and fair review based on the disability insurer’s failure to consult with a different physician regarding the claimant’s appeal following the termination of her claim.

  • March 06, 2024

    Joint Pretrial Proposals Are Filed In ERISA Fees Row Heading Toward Jury Trial

    NEW YORK — As parties in a class action over the record-keeping and administration fees of a multiple employer retirement plan (MEP) approach a rare Employee Retirement Income Security Act jury trial, they outline competing positions in several filings in New York federal court.

  • March 05, 2024

    DOL Files Amicus Brief In 9th Circuit ERISA Case Involving Tobacco Surcharge

    SAN FRANCISCO — For the third time in recent months — this time in a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals case concerning a health plan’s tobacco surcharge — the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has filed an amicus curiae brief supporting application of the effective vindication doctrine in an Employee Retirement Income Security Act dispute involving what the DOL calls a representative action waiver.

  • March 05, 2024

    5th Circuit Lets DOL Participate In Arguing ESOP Effective Vindication Row

    NEW ORLEANS — With the appellees’ consent, the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals is letting the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) participate as amicus curiae in March 11 oral argument concerning the “effective vindication” exception, which a federal court invoked in declining to compel arbitration in a putative class Employee Retirement Income Security Act case.

  • March 05, 2024

    ERISA Pleading Standard Disputed In 2nd Circuit Briefs In Record-Keeping Fees Case

    NEW YORK — In a reply brief likening the facts at issue to those in a sister circuit’s 2023 Hughes v. Northwestern University (Hughes II) ruling, participants in two Deloitte retirement plans urge the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to revive an Employee Retirement Income Security Act suit over record-keeping fees.

  • March 04, 2024

    $9M Global Deal In ERISA Proprietary Funds Row Follows Ruling In Similar Case

    CINCINNATI — Plaintiffs in an Employee Retirement Income Security Act class action over proprietary funds whose former motion concerned a $4.5 million deal with one defendant have now asked an Ohio federal court for preliminary approval of a global $9 million settlement with all defendants.

  • March 04, 2024

    Judge Denies Expert Preclusion Bids, Most Other Motions In ERISA Fees, Funds Case

    SANTA ANA, Calif. — Ruling on requests to preclude testimony and exclude evidence in a consolidated Employee Retirement Income Security Act class action over fees and funds, a California federal judge denied seven motions by the defendants and one by the plaintiffs, partly granting just one motion by the plaintiffs.

  • March 04, 2024

    Global $7.5M Class Deal Gets Preliminary OK In ERISA Proprietary Trusts Row

    FLORENCE, S.C. — A South Carolina federal judge has granted preliminary approval to a $7.5 million global class settlement in an Employee Retirement Income Security Act suit over a retirement plan’s use of proprietary collective investment trusts (CITs).

  • March 01, 2024

    $19M Deal Proposed In ERISA Row Over Proprietary Funds, Default Investment

    NEW YORK — Parties in an Employee Retirement Income Security Act suit challenging the use of proprietary investments in two New York Life Insurance Co. 401(k) plans — including use of a stable value fund as the default investment — have struck a $19 million class deal, plaintiffs told a New York federal court.

  • March 01, 2024

    Judge Won’t Reconsider Class Certification Denial In ERISA Suit Over MEP Fees

    MADISON, Wis. — After plaintiffs in a suit over the record-keeping and administration costs of a multiple employer plan (MEP) 401(k) unsuccessfully sought permission to appeal denial of class certification, a Wisconsin federal judge denied their motion to reconsider the denial.

  • February 26, 2024

    Bench Trial Leads To Ruling Against Class In ERISA Row Over Proprietary TDFs

    SANTA ANA, Calif. — Following a nine-day bench trial in an Employee Retirement Income Security Act class action over proprietary target date funds (TDFs), a California federal judge on Feb. 23 found for the plan sponsor and investment manager on all remaining claims.

  • February 26, 2024

    9th Circuit: Accepting Offer Of Judgment Waived Right To Appeal ERISA Claim

    LAS VEGAS — Saying that a “plaintiff may not . . . accept a Rule 68 offer of judgment and then appeal interlocutory orders preceding the entry of judgment,” a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel dismissed an appeal concerning an Employee Retirement Income Security Act claim.

  • February 23, 2024

    $20M Settlement Involving ‘Differential Treatment’ Gets Initial OK In ERISA Row

    ALLENTOWN, Pa. — A Pennsylvania federal judge on Feb. 22 granted preliminary approval of a proposed $20 million class settlement in a case where some plaintiffs allege that they are owed early retirement pension benefits and pension supplements due to a change in control (CIC); the proposal involves what the plaintiffs call “differential treatment” of two groups and would give estimated payments of $4,000 to $365,759 to 332 individuals.

  • February 23, 2024

    Airline’s Dismissal Bid Fails In Narrowed ESG Suit Focusing On Investment Managers

    FORT WORTH, Texas — A narrowed Employee Retirement Income Security Act case focusing on environmental, social and governance (ESG) considerations and the purported “proxy voting activism” of investment management firms such as BlackRock Inc. has survived dismissal, with a Texas federal judge saying in part that inference of a flawed process is plausible.

  • February 23, 2024

    $4M Deal With Cintas, Related Defendants Proposed In ERISA Imprudence Row

    CINCINNATI — A class settlement involving a $4 million payment and non-monetary relief would resolve an Employee Retirement Income Security Act case where Cintas Corp. and related defendants unsuccessfully sought U.S. Supreme Court review of the denial of their motion to compel arbitration, plaintiffs told an Ohio federal court.

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