Given the continuing wave of ERISA litigation, this article has become a mainstay of The Speed Reader. Cases that were recently filed or decided, or for which courts issued procedural rulings, are outlined below. Please note, however, that this list is not exhaustive.
Torres v. Greystar Management Services, L.P. (filed on May 13, 2019 in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas): The plaintiff in this proposed class action case was a participant in the defendant plan sponsor’s 401(k) plan. She mainly seeks to have the defendant restore losses to the plan resulting from fiduciary breaches, based on the following allegations:
White v. Chevron Corporation (writ of certiorari denied by the U.S. Supreme Court on May 28, 2019): The U.S. Supreme court has ruled that it will not review this case, which the plaintiffs sought to appeal from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Per that appeals court’s 2018 ruling, which upheld the trial court’s ruling, the defendants (the plan sponsor and the plan’s investment committee) did not breach their ERISA duties owed to the plaintiffs (participants in the defendant plan sponsor’s 401(k) plan). More specifically, the plaintiffs’ allegations showed only that the defendants could have (1) chosen investment alternatives that performed better than certain plan investment alternatives during the period at issue; or (2) sought lower administrative fees. However, no allegations “made it more plausible than not that any breach of a fiduciary duty had occurred.”
Usenko v. MEMC LLC (decided on June 4, 2019 by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit): The plaintiff, a participant in the defendant plan sponsor’s 401(k) plan, also named the plan’s investment committee as defendants. The plaintiff alleges that between July 20, 2015 and April 21, 2016, because the defendants knew or should have known that their parent company was in poor financial condition and faced poor long-term prospects, they should have removed the parent company’s stock from the plan’s investment lineup. (Between those dates, the stock’s market price fell from $31.66 to $0.34.) However, the appeals court stated that: