Riverside, CA: Administrators of a retirement plan that invested in higher-cost funds than less-expensive funds on behalf of plan participants breached their fiduciary duties under the Employment Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA, as amended 1974), or so it was alleged. Primary defendant Edison International will pay $7.5 million in damages in a settlement agreement that received judicial acceptance this past August 17.
San Francisco, CA: A former employee of Franklin Resources Inc. (FRI), which is more commonly known as Franklin Templeton, has blown the whistle on his former employer by launching a California class action lawsuit alleging ERISA violations. To that end, late last month a federal judge certified the class after finding there were sufficiently common issues of law to warrant the class action.
Los Angeles, CA: An ERISA lawsuit based in California that had been waged for 10 years quietly settled back in March following the third day of a bench trial (In Re Northrop Grumman Corp. ERISA Litigation, Case No. 2:06-cv-06213, in US District Court for the Central District of California). Weekend negotiations prior to the resumption of the trial succeeded in bringing both sides together, with a confidential settlement reached in the decade-long case.
Washington, DC: It’s an ERISA win for church-affiliated hospitals and health care facilities attempting to escape from the rigors and fiduciary requirements of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, following a ruling earlier this month by the US Supreme Court that affirms the extension of the ERISA religious exemption.
Washington, DC: The ongoing debate over whether, or not an exemption under the Employee Retirement Security Act (ERISA, as amended 1974) applies to non-profit hospitals reached a pivotal juncture in late March when arguments were made before the justices of the US Supreme Court. At stake is the current practice of not-for-profit hospitals with a church affiliation, applying the ERISA exemption according to a long-standing position in the accounting and actuarial world that a church affiliation meets the criteria for the ERISA exemption.
San Francisco, CA: Two lawsuits aimed at defeating a request for reimbursement of funds under ERISA were struck down by the Ninth Circuit on grounds that plaintiff actions did not qualify under ERISA. A lower court came to the same conclusion over claims made in the two ERISA lawsuits.
Thousand Oaks, CA: As we move ever closer to tax time, which is also a time when investors review their investments to maximize returns, a look back in the rear view mirror reminds us of a multi-million dollar ERISA settlement announced late last year that hinged on the fiduciary duties of those entrusted with growing, and managing retirement funds according to tenets of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (as amended, 1974).
Los Angeles, CA: In the latest salvo of an ERISA lawsuit that’s been ongoing for a decade now, employees of Northrop Grumman Corp. (plaintiffs in the ERISA complaint) this week made a request to a federal judge in California asking that certain witnesses for the defense should be blocked from testifying, together with various audits performed by the US Department of Labor (DOL). The plaintiffs hold that audit documents, and the testimony from the named witnesses, should be deemed as inadmissible.
Los Angeles, CA: Something old and something new to begin the year on the California ERISA file. ERISA is the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (as amended 1974), a federal statute that also reaches into individual states and is designed to protect the rights, and the future incomes of workers having already retired, or nearing retirement and already beyond their peak earning years.
Washington, DC: A court challenge that pits church-based health networks against ERISA provisions and interpretations is to be heard by the highest court in the land, following notification on December 2 that the US Supreme Court is going to weigh in by agreeing to review recent decisions by the appellate courts. As one of the health networks is based in California, the case is expected to have some influence and impact on California ERISA labor law.