Jamie Fleckner

Jamie Fleckner

Goodwin Procter LLP

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District Court Denies Class Certification in Excessive Fee Case Against Service Provider

The plaintiffs, three plan participants, filed their lawsuit in 2012 and purported to assert claims on behalf of a class of all plans serviced by the defendants, affiliated entities that provided services to the plans and/or...more

10/2/2015 - Breach of Duty Class Action Class Certification ERISA Excessive Fees Federal Rules of Civil Procedure Fiduciary Duty Mutual Funds Prohibited Transactions Rule 23 Rule 23(b)(3)

Federal District Court Addresses Measure of Damages in ERISA Breach of Fiduciary Duty Case

Fiduciaries of two defined contribution retirement plans sponsored by the same employer (the “Plans”) sued the Plans’ former investment manager for breach of ERISA fiduciary duties and state law violations in connection with...more

10/1/2015 - Breach of Duty Burden of Proof Damages Defined Contribution Plans Disgorgement DOL ERISA Fiduciary Duty Fund Managers Investment

Fifth Circuit Affirms Dismissal of Claims Involving De-risking of Pension Assets

In October 2012, a defined benefit plan sponsor amended its plan to provide that, effective Dec. 7, 2012, the plan would purchase an annuity to cover the plan’s obligations to make payments to the roughly 41,000 participants...more

9/30/2015 - Benefit Plan Sponsors Breach of Duty De-Risking Defined Benefit Plans ERISA Failure To Disclose Fiduciary Duty Motion to Dismiss Pension Plan Amendments Summary Plan Description TRO

Ninth Circuit Again Wrestles with Fifth Third v. Dudenhoeffer, and Again Reverses Dismissal of Stock Drop Case

Factual Background - As described in greater detail in the December 18, 2014 edition of the ELU, this case involves claims for breach of fiduciary duty when two 401(k) plans remained invested in the employer stock at a...more

6/29/2015 - 401k Duty of Prudence ERISA Fiduciary Duty FIfth Third Bancorp v Dudenhoeffer Moench Presumption SCOTUS Stock Drop Litigation

Federal District Court Allows Most Claims to Proceed in Stable Value Product-Related Litigation

In Teets v. Great-West Life & Annuity Insurance Company, Case No. 14-2330 (D. Col. May 22, 2015), the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado denied in part and granted in part a motion to dismiss claims under ERISA...more

6/29/2015 - 401k Class Action Defined Contribution Plans ERISA Fiduciary Duty

Solicitor General Urges Supreme Court to Decline to Hear Breach of Fiduciary Duty Case

On June 25, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court will decide whether to grant certiorari in Tatum v. RJR Pension Investment Committee, 761 F.3d 346 (4th Cir. 2014). As discussed in the September 29, 2014 edition of the ELU, Tatum...more

6/26/2015 - Burden of Proof Certiorari ERISA Fiduciary Duty Investment Adviser Loss Causation Petition for Writ of Certiorari SCOTUS

Supreme Court Vacates Decision Applying Statute of Limitations in Excessive Fee Case

In a highly anticipated decision concerning 401(k) excessive fee litigation, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of the plaintiffs in Tibble v. Edison, Int’l, No. 13-550, vacating the lower court’s decision that had found...more

6/25/2015 - 401k ERISA Excessive Fees Fiduciary Duty SCOTUS Statute of Limitations Tibble v Edison Int

En Banc Sixth Circuit Rules Against Disgorgement Remedy in Benefits Case

In Rochow v. Life Insurance Company of North America, No. 12-2074 (6th Cir. March 5, 2015), the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, sitting en banc, ruled that an insurance company that wrongfully denied benefits to...more

3/27/2015 - Appeals Disability Insurance Disgorgement ERISA Insurance Litigation

Second Circuit Revisits Remedies In Amara v. Cigna

The Second Circuit court of appeals held that a court can exercise its equitable powers to reform the terms of a cash balance retirement plan to provide greater benefits than stated in response to material misstatements made...more

3/27/2015 - Appeals Benefit Plan Sponsors Class Action Material Misstatements Plan Administrators Reformation Retirement Plan

Federal District Court Dismisses Class Action Litigation Concerning 401(k) Provider’s Float Practices

In In re Fidelity ERISA Float Litigation, Case No. 13-10222 (D. Mass. Mar. 11, 2015), the district court rejected an ERISA challenge to a 401(k) plan service provider’s float practices. ...more

3/25/2015 - 401k Case Consolidation ERISA Fidelity Investments Plan Administrators Stock Float

Supreme Court Rules No Presumption of Lifetime Vesting of Retiree Health Benefits

The Supreme Court overturned the Sixth Circuit’s long-standing Yard-Man presumption, ruling that courts should apply ordinary contract principles to determine whether benefits have vested....more

3/25/2015 - CBAs Contract Term M&G Polymers v Tackett Retirement Plan SCOTUS Vested Benefits Vesting Yard Man

Plan Sponsor Agrees to $62 Million Settlement in ERISA Case Challenging 401(k) Plan Fees

Lockheed Martin Corp. has settled the 401(k) excessive fee litigation pending against it in federal court in Illinois....more

3/25/2015 - 401k Benefit Plan Sponsors ERISA Excessive Fees Lockheed Martin Retirement Plan Settlement

Sixth Circuit Upholds Venue Selection Clause in Pension Plan

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit upheld a pension plan’s venue selection clause and affirmed dismissal of the participant’s claims for benefits on the ground that such claims were not filed in the authorized...more

12/19/2014 - Appeals Dismissals Forum Selection Pensions

Ninth Circuit Applies Fifth Third v. Dudenhoeffer to Reverse Dismissal of Stock Drop Case

Speed Read - The Ninth Circuit becomes the first appellate court to interpret the Supreme Court’s Fifth Third v. Dudenhoeffer holding. In its ruling, the Ninth Circuit held that participants can maintain a claim...more

12/19/2014 - 401k ERISA ESOP FIfth Third Bancorp v Dudenhoeffer Remand Stock Drop Litigation US Bancorp

Insurer Agrees to $140 Million Settlement in ERISA Case Challenging Revenue Sharing Practices

Nationwide Life Insurance Co. has agreed to settle ERISA fiduciary breach claims brought on behalf of a class of retirement plan trustees that purchased annuity contracts and/or services from Nationwide for their plans....more

12/19/2014 - Annuities Breach of Duty Class Action ERISA Fiduciary Duty Nationwide Insurance Co. Retirement Plan Settlement

Federal District Court Dismisses “100% Equity Strategy” Claims on Statute of Limitations Grounds

A federal district court held that participants in a defined benefit plan had standing to challenge plan fiduciaries’ strategy of investing 100% of the plan’s assets in equities, but dismissed those claims based on ERISA’s...more

12/19/2014 - Defined Benefit Plans Employer Liability Issues ERISA Plan Administrators Securities Standing Statute of Limitations

Fourth Circuit Places Burden on Defendants to Disprove Loss Causation in Fiduciary Breach Cases

In Tatum v. RJR Pension Investment Committee, No. 13-1360 (August 4, 2014), a divided panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit held that, if the plaintiff in an ERISA fiduciary breach case proves that the...more

10/3/2014 - 401k Appeals Breach of Duty ERISA Loss Causation RJR Nabisco

First Circuit Rules for Insurers in Two Retained Asset Account Cases; An Insurer Does not Need “to Don the Commercial Equivalent...

The First Circuit recently decided two ERISA cases challenging the use of retained asset accounts in favor of the insurer-defendants. The decisions are Merrimon v. Unum Life Ins. Co. of Am., 758 F.3d 46, 50 (1st Cir. 2014)...more

10/2/2014 - Breach of Duty ERISA Fiduciary Duty Insurance Industry Retained Asset Accounts

Supreme Court Urged to Consider Excessive Fee Case

The Supreme Court will soon announce whether it will address the scope of ERISA’s six-year statute of repose when applied to a claim that investments selected more than six years before suit commenced were imprudent due to...more

10/1/2014 - Employee Benefits ERISA Excessive Fees Fees SCOTUS

Third Circuit Affirms Dismissal of Excessive Fee Claims Against Insurer

The Third Circuit has affirmed dismissal of all claims against the insurer in a 401(k) excessive fee suit, rejecting arguments that the insurer is an ERISA fiduciary for its product's fees, even where the service provider has...more

9/30/2014 - 401k Dismissals DOL ERISA Excessive Fees

Second Circuit Affirms Dismissal of Stock Drop Challenge on Grounds Unrelated to Moench

Prior to the Supreme Court’s decision in Fifth Third Bancorp v. Dudenhoeffer, the central issue in nearly every case alleging the imprudent investment of plan assets in employer stock has revolved around whether plan...more

7/2/2014 - ERISA ESOP Fiduciary Duty FIfth Third Bancorp v Dudenhoeffer Moench Presumption SCOTUS Stock Drop Litigation

Ninth Circuit Holds that Monetary “Make-Whole” Relief Is Not Available Absent Loss to Plan or Unjust Enrichment for Defendant...

A Ninth Circuit panel recognized that reformation, equitable estoppel and surcharge were among the “appropriate equitable relief” potentially available under Section 502(a)(3) of ERISA (following dictum in CIGNA Corp. v....more

7/2/2014 - CIGNA CIGNA v Amara Equitable Estoppel Equitable Surcharge ERISA Make-Whole Doctrine Reformation

Seventh Circuit Reverses Summary Judgment in Case Applying ERISA’s Statute of Limitations

A Seventh Circuit panel declined to apply ERISA’s three-year statute of limitations to bar fiduciary claims in a case arising out of a buy-out transaction involving an employee stock ownership plan. The court held that the...more

7/1/2014 - Appeals Buy-Out Agreements ERISA ESOP Fiduciary Duty Statute of Limitations

Sixth Circuit Addresses Plan Assets and Limitations Issues in Holding Service Provider’s Fee Assessments Constituted Self-Dealing

The Sixth Circuit held in Hi-Lex Controls, Inc. v. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Michigan that a service provider was liable as a fiduciary under ERISA for unauthorized fees it assessed against a self-funded health plan. In...more

7/1/2014 - Blue Shield ERISA Fees Fiduciary Duty Fraud Plan Administrators Self-Dealing Self-Funded Health Plans Statute of Limitations

Supreme Court Rules No “Presumption of Prudence” for Employer Stock Plan Fiduciaries

In a decision that could have significant implications for certain companies and their 401(k) and other plans that invest in employer stock, the Supreme Court ruled, in Fifth Third Bancorp v. Dudenhoeffer, that there is no...more

6/30/2014 - ERISA ESOP Fiduciary Duty FIfth Third Bancorp v Dudenhoeffer Fifth Third Mortgage Company SCOTUS Stock Drop Litigation

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