Given the continuing wave of ERISA litigation, this article has become a mainstay of The Speed Reader. A sample of recent cases is provided below.
most common type of ERISA case for approximately the past fifteen years has
involved retirement plan participants’ allegations that plan fiduciaries caused
participants to pay excessive recordkeeping and investment fees and included
poorly-performing investment options in the plan. Recent cases in this category
include the following:
- Milano v. Cognizant Technology Solutions U.S.
(complaint filed on December 2, 2020 in the U.S. District Court for the
District of New Jersey).
- Pinnell v. Teva Pharmaceuticals USA Inc. (settlement
agreement submitted on November 18, 2020 to the U.S. District Court for the Eastern
District of Pennsylvania).
Other types of recent ERISA cases are as follows:
- Scalia v. Sartell Group, Inc. (decided on December 2, 2020 by the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota): Pursuant to a 401(k) plan investigation, the
DOL found that the defendant plan fiduciaries failed to remit approximately
$40,000 in employees’ contributions and loan repayments to the plan in a timely
manner. The court has now ruled that the defendants must repay that amount to
the plan and pay a penalty of $8,065. Also, one defendant must complete
training in the duties and responsibilities of fiduciaries to ERISA-covered
v. Ford Motor Company
(decided on November 16, 2020 by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit): The plaintiff here received a $351,690
benefit payment from the defendant’s defined benefit plan, but that amount was
more than she was entitled to under the plan’s properly-drafted terms. When the
defendant learned of the mistake, it asked for the extra money back. The
plaintiff refused to return the overpayment, however, and sued the defendant to
obtain a court declaration that she could keep the overpayment. The defendant
filed a counterclaim, seeking recoupment of the overpayment. The court mainly ruled that the defendants
followed the plan’s terms by asking the plaintiff to return the overpayment,
and the plaintiff must do so.