Joseph Clark

Joseph Clark

Proskauer Rose LLP

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Latest Publications


Plan Administrator’s ERISA Declaratory Judgment Action Dismissed for Lack of Jurisdiction

After a top-hat plan and pension plan denied a participant’s claims and appeals for additional benefits, the plan administrators preemptively filed a declaratory judgment action, seeking a declaration that: (i) termination of...more

9/3/2015 - Declaratory Judgments Equitable Relief ERISA Personal Jurisdiction Plan Administrators Service of Process Subject Matter Jurisdiction Termination

Eleventh Circuit Again Affirms Dismissal of Stock Drop Claim Against Delta Air Lines

The Eleventh Circuit affirmed dismissal of ERISA breach of fiduciary claims against Delta Air Lines and other alleged plan fiduciaries in connection with a defined contribution plan’s investments in Delta Air Lines stock. ...more

8/3/2015 - Breach of Duty Delta Airlines Duty of Prudence ERISA Fiduciary Duty FIfth Third Bancorp v Dudenhoeffer Remand SCOTUS Vacated Valuation

The ERISA Litigation Newsletter - June 2015

Editor's Overview - In this month's newsletter, Anthony Cacace analyzes the heavily anticipated Supreme Court ruling in Tibble v. Edison Intl., 135 S. Ct. 1823 (2015), where the Court held that ERISA's fiduciary duty of...more

6/26/2015 - 401k Attorney's Fees Breach of Duty Class Action Determination Letter Due Diligence Duty of Prudence Duty to Monitor ERISA Fiduciary Duty Investment Funds Investment Management IRS Policies and Procedures Retirement Plan SCOTUS Section 409A Statute of Limitations Stock Drop Litigation Tibble v Edison Int Vesting

SCOTUS Invites Solicitor General to Submit Its View on ERISA Venue Selection Provisions

We previously reported that a split Sixth Circuit panel enforced a venue selection clause in an ERISA plan. In so ruling, the Court rejected the U.S. Department of Labor’s attempt to regulate by amicus brief and reasoned...more

6/10/2015 - Certiorari Choice-of-Venue DOL ERISA Petition for Writ of Certiorari SCOTUS Solicitor General Venue

The ERISA Litigation Newsletter - May 2015

Editor's Overview - This month we focus on the EEOC's proposed rules concerning wellness programs. As our colleague, Amy Covert, discusses, a recent change of position by the EEOC provides employers with opportunities...more

5/22/2015 - ADA Affordable Care Act Best Management Practices DOL EEOC Employer Group Health Plans EPCRS ERISA HIPAA Incentives Voluntary Participation Wellness Programs

Second Circuit Affirms Dismissal of ERISA Stock Drop Claims

The Second Circuit recently affirmed the dismissal of an ERISA stock drop class action because, like the district court, it held that Named Plaintiff Debra Taveras lacked constitutional standing to pursue her claims. Taveras...more

5/14/2015 - Appeals Breach of Duty Class Action Dismissals ERISA Stock Drop Litigation UBS

Ameriprise Agrees to Pay $27.5 Million to Settle Fiduciary Breach and Prohibited Transaction Claims

Defendants Ameriprise Financial, Inc., the fiduciary committees of the Ameriprise 401(k) plan, and individual committee members agreed to settle a lawsuit brought by a class of participants in the Ameriprise 401(k) plan for...more

4/8/2015 - 401k Ameriprise Financial Breach of Duty Class Action Non-Judicial Settlement Agreements

The ERISA Litigation Newsletter - March 2015

Editor's Overview - This month's newsletter discusses how to avoid liability under ERISA through plan design, including statute of limitations provisions, venue provisions, and anti-assignment provisions. Courts have...more

3/31/2015 - Benefit Plan Sponsors Choice-of-Venue COBRA Contract Drafting Contract Terms DOL Employer Liability Issues ERISA Health Insurance Statute of Limitations

Ninth Circuit: Spousal Consent Not Required Under Top-Hat Plans

The Ninth Circuit held that a participant’s brother, rather than his spouse, was the proper beneficiary of benefits under a profit sharing plan. In so holding, the Court found that: (a) the participant’s first wife, who was...more

2/27/2015 - Beneficiaries ERISA Exemptions Profit Sharing Spouses Written Consent

The ERISA Litigation Newsletter - February 2015

The Supreme Court cast a ray of sunlight for employers by rejecting the use of a problematic inference in adjudicating claims for retiree benefits brought pursuant to collective bargaining agreements. For many years, the...more

2/17/2015 - Employer Group Health Plans Employer Healthcare Costs Health Insurance M&G Polymers v Tackett Retirement SCOTUS Vested Benefits Yard Man

Supreme Court Dispenses With the Yard-Man Inferences

In a decision watched closely by both employers and unions, a unanimous Supreme Court has resolved a thirty-plus year split among the circuit courts on the standards governing claims for retiree health-care benefits arising...more

1/29/2015 - CBAs Collective Bargaining Employer Group Health Plans Employer Healthcare Costs Health Insurance M&G Polymers v Tackett Retirement SCOTUS Vested Benefits Yard Man

Supreme Court Announces “Wipe-Out” of Yard-Man Presumption in Advance of Storm

With storm clouds threatening in the northeast, the Supreme Court cast a ray of sunlight for employers today by rejecting the use of a problematic inference in adjudicating claims for retiree benefits brought pursuant to...more

1/27/2015 - Collective Bargaining Retirement SCOTUS Yard Man

401(k) Plan Participant Waived ERISA Stock-Drop Claim

The D.C. Circuit affirmed the decision of a district court that Plaintiff Patrick Russell, a 401(k) plan participant, had knowingly waived his right to assert an ERISA stock-drop claim based on, among other things, the...more

12/19/2014 - 401k ERISA Hiring & Firing Popular Severance Agreements Stock Drop Litigation Waiver of Tort

Defined Benefit Plan Participants Have Standing to Pursue Fiduciary Breach Claims

A federal district court in Minnesota found that participants in a defined benefit pension plan had standing to assert claims that defendants breached their fiduciary duties by, among other things, shifting to an...more

12/4/2014 - Breach of Duty Defined Benefit Plans ERISA Fiduciary Duty Standing Statute of Limitations

The ERISA Litigation Newsletter - October 2014

Editor's Overview - The first article in this month's newsletter focuses on whether specific language in ERISA employer-provided disability insurance plans confer discretionary authority to plan administrators to...more

10/22/2014 - Delegation of Discretion Disability Insurance Employee Benefits ERISA Plan Administrators

A Court’s Review of a Disability Benefit Claim May Hinge on the Meaning “Satisfactory to Us”

Twenty-five years ago, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that courts should review an ERISA participant’s claim for benefits under a de novo standard of review unless the plan gives the plan fiduciary discretionary authority to...more

10/9/2014 - Benefit Plan Sponsors Contract Drafting De Novo Standard of Review Disability Benefits Employee Benefits Employer Liability Issues ERISA

Equitable Surcharge Awarded to Life Insurance Plan Beneficiary

A federal district court in California awarded relief in the form of surcharge to a life insurance plan beneficiary who claimed that a plan administrator failed to provide complete and accurate information in response to...more

6/12/2014 - Beneficiaries Equitable Surcharge Life Insurance

Court Approves USERRA Class Action Settlement Over Pension Contributions

A federal district court in Colorado recently approved a settlement agreement resolving class action claims brought under the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA). The documents filed in support...more

6/2/2014 - Class Action Employee Benefits Pensions Settlement United Airlines USERRA

Despite Windsor, Federal Court Rejects Challenge to a Self-Insured ERISA Health Plan’s Denial of Coverage for Same-Sex Spouses

Following the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in US v. Windsor, the requirement that an ERISA health plan provide health coverage for same-sex spouses has often hinged on whether an employee benefit plan was insured or...more

5/22/2014 - Denial of Benefits DOMA Employee Benefits ERISA Marriage Marriage Equality Same-Sex Marriage SCOTUS US v Windsor

View From Proskauer: Investigating and Deciding Severance Benefits Claims

Plan administrators charged with administering Employee Retirement Income Security Act-governed severance plans are often confronted with the question of whether they should conduct an independent investigation into the...more

5/15/2014 - Employer Liability Issues ERISA Hiring & Firing Internal Investigations Plan Administrators Severance Agreements Severance Pay Termination

District Court Concludes Statute of Limitations Defense Must Be Asserted During Administrative Claims Process

Plan administrators sometimes are confronted with claims that appear untimely, but nevertheless focus solely on the substantive issue raised by the claim. A recent ruling from a federal district court in New Jersey suggests...more

5/2/2014 - Administrative Hearings Severance Agreements Statute of Limitations

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