Former Goldman Sachs Workers Achieve Class Status in 401(k) Mismanagement Case

U.S. District Judge Edgardo Ramos granted class status to tens of thousands of Goldman Sachs Group Inc. ex-employees in an ERISA suit related to mismanagement of its employee 401(k) plan. In support of its motion to certify the class, Falberg also pointed to other courts which recently have certified ERISA classes of retirement plan participants suing financial services providers for unfairly promoting proprietary Read More

EEOC and GA Company Reach Consent Decree Ending ADA Violation Suit

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and Ranew’s Management Co. Inc., a Georgia industrial company, reached a consent decree in Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Ranew's Management Co. Inc. et al., case number 5:21-cv-00443, U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Georgia. The decree provides that the company will pay J. Bryant Beeland, a former chief financial officer, $250,000, Read More

Court Orders Aetna to Boost Coverage for Mental Health Treatment in ERISA Case

A North Carolina federal judge found that Aetna Life Insurance Co. abused its discretion and violated ERISA in underpaying and denying claims for coverage for two mental health facilities in Texas. In doing so, Aetna violated the terms of the Bank of America Group Benefits Program and its medical necessity criteria.  Alan R. and J.R., beneficiaries of the health plan, filed suit against Aetna in April 2020. J.R., Read More

IL Federal Judge Grants Class Certification to Astellas Workers Over 401(k) Losses

In Wachala et al. v. Astellas US LLC et al., case number 1:20-cv-03882, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Astellas employees sued their employer and the retirement plan’s investment manager, Aon Investments USA Inc. The employees claim that Aon violated ERISA by selecting its own investment trusts as plan options. In addition, they point out that Aon replaced better-performing funds with its Read More

Taco Bell Prevails in ERISA Worker Misclassification Suit

Based on a lack of standing, a California federal district court dismissed a former Taco Bell recruiter's suit against the popular chain restaurant and its parent company, Yum Brands. The former recruiter had alleged that the companies had violated ERISA by intentionally misclassifying him as an independent contractor to deny him access to employee benefits, including the employee pension plan. U.S. District Judge Read More

Tri-Agencies’ First Annual Report Finds MHPAEA Compliance Lacking, but Plans and Issuers Still Can Take Corrective Actions

The Tri-Agencies – the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and the Treasury – published their first annual report on compliance with the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (MHPAEA), as amended by the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 (CAA). Although the 2022 MHPAEA Report to Congress stated that the Tri-Agencies had issued a preliminary determination of Read More

5th Circuit Affirms Dismissal of $2.1M Atty Fee Fight From Texas Court

A panel of the Fifth Circuit affirmed a Texas federal court decision to dismiss a Texas personal injury law firm’s $2.1 million referral fee lawsuit against an Ohio law firm. The Fifth Circuit agreed with Ohio law firm Morgan Verkamp that its reply to one unsolicited email from the Texas law firm of Danziger & De Llano did not create sufficient connections to subject it to Texas law. The case is Danziger & De Read More

401(k) Fee Complaint Survives Dismissal Post-Hughes

In the first court decision since the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Hughes v. Northwestern University et al., case number 19-1401, a Georgia federal district court ruled in favor of the plaintiffs in declining to dismiss their complaint concerning costly 401(k) plan fees and underperforming funds. In Goodman v. Columbus Reg’l Healthcare Sys., 2022 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 13489 (M.D. Ga. Jan. 25, 2022), participants in Read More

Supreme Court Revives Northwestern University Workers’ Class Action Lawsuit Alleging ERISA Violations

In Hughes v. Northwestern University et al., case number 19-1401, Supreme Court of the United States, the high Court unanimously vacated and remanded the case to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. The Supreme Court found that the lower court had erred in finding that the ultimate decision-making authority resting in the retirement plan participants was sufficient to excuse the allegedly imprudent Read More

Eleventh Circuit Emphasizes Effectiveness of SPD Disclaimers

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit recently affirmed a federal district court’s grant of summary judgment to Allstate Insurance Company in Klaas v. Allstate Ins. Co., 2021 U.S App. LEXIS 38473 (11th Cir. Dec. 28, 2021). In that case, retired Allstate employees sued in a consolidated ERISA class action suit over Allstate’s decision to stop paying premiums on retirees’ life insurance policies. As Read More