Line Construction Benefit Fund v. Allied Electrical Contractors, Inc.

Petition for Writ of Certiorari

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This case concerns two issues. First, whether ERISA grants a multiemployer benefit plan a right to sue for delinquent contributions. And second, whether ERISA requires an employer to contribute to a benefit plan when the CBA required a signed letter of assent.

ERISA only grants a right to sue for delinquent contributions to three parties: plan participants, beneficiaries, and fiduciaries. Allied argues that because LINECO is not one of these three, it could not sue on its own to enforce the plan. LINECO maintained that Congress did not intend to restrict the definition so narrowly, and that, in the alternative, it was a fiduciary of itself. The 7th Circuit agreed and found that the Plan could maintain a right of action for delinquent contributions. The 7th Circuit also held that an employer's conduct is enough to manifest his assent to be bound under a Plan, regardless of whether the Plan required a signed letter of assent.

This petition for certiorari to the United States Supreme Court followed. There is a clear Circuit split on the first issue, with the Second and Ninth Circuits holding that a benefit plan cannot sue for delinquent contributions, and the Sixth and Seventh Circuits holding that a benefit plan can sue as a fiduciary of itself.

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Reference Info:Federal, U.S. Supreme Court | United States


DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© Timothy Perkins, AutoZone, Inc. | Attorney Advertising

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