Mealey's ERISA

  • June 01, 2023

    Illinois Federal Judge Denies Dismissal Of ERISA Suit Over Record-Keeping Fees

    CHICAGO — An Illinois federal judge denied dismissal of an Employee Retirement Income Security Act suit over allegedly excessive record-keeping fees, rejecting the argument that the recent Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals decision in Hughes v. Northwestern Univ. (Hughes II) “did not announce a ‘new pleading standard.’”

  • May 31, 2023

    Jury Selected, 10 Motions In Limine Decided In ERISA Excessive Fees Case

    NEW HAVEN, Conn. — A 10-person jury was selected in Connecticut federal court on May 30 for trial in an Employee Retirement Income Security Act class action over claims by participants in a Yale University 403(b) retirement plan related to record-keeping fees, investment monitoring, share classes and a bundled services arrangement with the Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association of American (TIAA).

  • May 26, 2023

    Magistrate: AI Concerns Among Reasons To Preclude Evidence Release In ERISA Case

    SALT LAKE CITY — Citing in part potential concerns that competitors could use artificial intelligence and machine learning to create derivative products if a vendor’s health care guidance information were publicly released, a federal magistrate judge in Utah granted a motion for a protective order and rejected the argument that the Employee Retirement Income Security Act mandated release of the evidence.

  • May 26, 2023

    Respondents: 7th Circuit Ruling In ERISA Contribution Row Doesn’t Warrant Review

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — Urging the U.S. Supreme Court to deny review of an Employee Retirement Income Security Act decision concerning how long employers have to contribute to a multiemployer benefit plan, respondents argue that there is no circuit split and the challenged ruling amounts to “application of settled law to facts of a particular case.”

  • May 25, 2023

    Disability Claimant Alleges Insurer Violated ERISA, Wrongfully Denied Claim

    NEWARK, N.J. — A disability claimant alleges in a complaint filed in New Jersey federal court that a disability insurer wrongfully denied her claim for long-term disability (LTD) benefits and then, violated the requirements of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act by failing to issue a decision on her second-level administrative appeal within 45 days.

  • May 25, 2023

    Panel Upholds Ruling Against Plan Participants In ERISA ‘Meaningful Benefits’ Case

    SAN FRANCISCO — Affirming summary judgment under Thole v. U.S. Bank N.A. in a class action in which pension plan participants argued that they weren’t provided “meaningful benefits,” a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel issued a May 24 unpublished memorandum disposition finding no error in the decision that the participants lack standing.

  • May 24, 2023

    D.C. Circuit Won’t Rehear Class Certification Case Over Fail-Safe Rule, Timeliness

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The District of Columbia Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals denied a petition for rehearing en banc on two aspects of a panel ruling on interlocutory appeal that reversed and remanded denial of class certification in a suit over retirement plan vesting determinations.

  • May 24, 2023

    Parties Stipulate To Dismissal Of Suit Over COVID-Era New York City Severance Law

    NEW YORK — After the parties fully briefed an interlocutory appeal regarding a New York City law enacted during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on May 23 enacted a stipulation withdrawing the appeal and the parties stipulated in New York federal court to voluntary dismissal of the case with prejudice.

  • May 23, 2023

    Lack Of Fiduciary Power, Coverage Disparity Doom Mental Health Coverage Suit

    DETROIT — An insurer lacked the fiduciary power required to be liable under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, and there is no evidence that it employed different standards for evaluating mental health and surgical or medical claims, a federal judge in Michigan said May 22 in granting the insurer’s motion to dismiss.

  • May 23, 2023

    $2.9M Class Settlement Gets Preliminary OK In ERISA Fees, Funds Case

    BOSTON — A Massachusetts federal judge has granted preliminary approval to a proposal in which a $2.9 million payment plus an agreement “to bolster the fiduciaries’ investment and service provider monitoring processes” would settle a putative class suit challenging fees and funds in jointly administered retirement plans.

  • May 22, 2023

    District Court Did Not Err In Finding Disability Plan Misapplied Plan Exclusion

    CINCINNATI — A district court did not err in finding that a disability plan misapplied the plan’s mental health exclusion because the claimant was never diagnosed with chronic pain syndrome as required for the exclusion to apply, a panel majority of the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals said May 19 in affirming judgment for the claimant.

  • May 22, 2023

    ESOP Asks 7th Circuit To Revive Claims In Suit Over Valuations, Securities Laws

    CHICAGO — An employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) is asking the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to reverse dismissal of claims it asserted against company executives, independent trustees and financial advisers under federal securities laws, the Employee Retirement Income Security Act and state law.

  • May 22, 2023

    Appellees Urge 2nd Circuit To Uphold Facility Fees Ruling In ERISA Class Case

    NEW YORK — Contending that materials were properly considered and an argument that interpretations were unreasonable lacks merit, a health insurer and related entities urged the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to affirm judgment for them in an Employee Retirement Income Security Act suit over reimbursement for facility fees in New York.

  • May 22, 2023

    Judge Dismisses 2nd Amended ERISA Fees Complaint With Prejudice

    PHILADELPHIA — Saying that “vaguely alleging recordkeeping services are fungible does not plausibly allege a breach,” a Pennsylvania federal judge granted dismissal with prejudice of a complaint in which retirement plan participants cited allegedly excessive record-keeping fees in arguing breach of the fiduciary duty of prudence under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act.

  • May 19, 2023

    Certiorari Sought For 9th Circuit MPPAA Ruling On Contribution History Transfer

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — Asserting that “transfer of contribution history to a successor is an issue of first impression in this Court,” petitioners ask the U.S. Supreme Court to review a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals decision regarding a withdrawal liability dispute under the Multiemployer Pension Plan Amendments Act (MPPAA) of 1980.

  • May 18, 2023

    States Challenging DOL’s ESG Investing Rule Make Administrative Record Arguments

    AMARILLO, Texas — Arguing that the administrative record supports their bid to have a U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) investment rule concerning environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors vacated, 26 states and other plaintiffs moved in Texas federal court for summary judgment.

  • May 18, 2023

    DOL’s Appeal Over Vacated Rollover Recommendations Policy Is Voluntarily Dismissed

    TAMPA, Fla. — The 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on May 17 granted voluntary dismissal of an appeal the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) filed over a ruling that vacated and remanded to the agency a rollover recommendations policy that a Florida federal judge said “impermissibly unmoors the focus of the inquiry into whether an individual is a fiduciary away from a specific” Employee Retirement Income Security Act plan.

  • May 18, 2023

    ERISA, Discrimination Claims Survive In Dialysis Coverage Case

    COLUMBUS, Ohio — A dialysis provider’s discrimination and Employee Retirement Income Security Act claims may proceed, a federal judge in Ohio said in granting a health plan summary judgment on a single claim under the Medicare Secondary Payor Act (MSPA) in the wake of a U.S. Supreme Court ruling.

  • May 17, 2023

    Arguments Against Typicality Largely Fail In Class ERISA Row Over Proprietary Funds

    BOSTON — Partly granting certification of a mandatory class in an Employee Retirement Income Security Act suit challenging the selection and retention of proprietary funds, a Massachusetts federal judge adopted a report and recommendation concluding that the named plaintiff is typical of the class on all challenged points except as to forward-looking injunctive relief, despite being a financial analyst who no longer participates in the retirement fund and signed a release when he left the company.

  • May 16, 2023

    Court: ERISA Insurer Can’t ‘Shut Its Eyes’ To Available Medical Evidence

    DENVER — An Employee Retirement Income Security Act health plan administrator did not need to credit treating physicians’ opinions, but it also couldn’t simply “shut its eyes” and fail to engage with readily available medical evidence, the 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals said in finding the insurer’s coverage denials arbitrary and capricious and affirming and award of benefits.