Stacey C.S. CerroneBlog Posts

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  • Class Action Trends Report Winter 2022

    In this issue of the Class Action Trends Report, Jackson Lewis attorneys look back at class action developments in 2021, including COVID-19 vaccine mandate litigation, significant procedural decisions, wage and hour suits, and the continuing rise of cases brought under the California Private Attorneys General Act and Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act, among other litigation trends. Continue Reading…
    February 23, 2022
  • Parties, Start Your Engines: Snap Removals and Defeating Incomplete Diversity

    In what is known as a “snap” removal, a non-resident defendant may be able to remove a state court case to federal court based on diversity jurisdiction, despite resident defendant(s) being named in the suit. To effect a snap removal, the non-resident defendant must file removal papers before the plaintiff can effect service on any...… Continue Reading
    July 27, 2021
  • ERISA 401(k) Performance and Fee Litigation Dismissed for Failure to Provide Comparable Benchmark

    The District Court for the Southern District of Iowa recently dismissed an ERISA putative class action lawsuit challenging 401(k) performance and fees after plan participants failed to identify appropriate benchmarks in their complaint. The court reinforced the Eighth Circuit’s standards for stating such claims, requiring that the plaintiffs allege facts establishing “a meaningful benchmark for... Continue Reading
    July 13, 2021
  • Administrative Exhaustion Is Required Even When Not Mentioned in Plan

    The Eastern District of Missouri recently examined whether administrative exhaustion is a prerequisite to an ERISA suit alleging a wrongful denial of employee benefits, where the benefit plan’s language did not include an administrative appeal procedure and the denial letter included only permissive language stating that the claimant “may request a review” of the denial.... Continue Reading
    June 4, 2021
  • U.S. Bancorp Defeats Class Certification in Challenge to Early Retirement Benefits

    The District Court of Minnesota declined to certify a class of pensioners seeking to challenge their plan’s early retirement calculations. ERISA requires early retirement benefits to be actuarially equivalent to what participants would receive at their normal retirement age. For participants collecting retirement benefits before age 65 (known as the “Early Commencement Factor” or “ECF”),... Continue Reading
    June 1, 2021
  • Third Circuit to Consider Class Certification Issues Percolating in ERISA Fee Litigation

    The Third Circuit will review a Pennsylvania district court’s decision to certify a 60,000+ person class in an ERISA fiduciary breach lawsuit claiming mismanagement of a defined contribution plan’s investments and recordkeeping fees. This appeal queues up guidance on a hotly litigated issue in recent ERISA cases:  can defined contribution plan participants challenge the prudence... Continue Reading
    May 24, 2021
  • 401(k) Investment Option Challenge Heads to Ninth Circuit

    Recently, in Davis v., a California district court dismissed for the second time claims alleging that the defendant 401(k) plan fiduciaries breached their ERISA fiduciary duties by retaining overpriced and underperforming investment options on the plan’s investment menu. Our previous post on that dismissal is available here. That decision is one in a deluge... Continue Reading
    May 18, 2021
  • California District Court Again Dismisses ERISA Lawsuit Challenging 401(k) Plan’s Fees

    The Northern District of California dismissed with prejudice a lawsuit alleging a 401(k) plan’s sponsor and fiduciaries included unreasonably expensive funds in the plan’s investment lineup.  The court previously dismissed the plaintiffs’ claims without prejudice, finding their complaint failed to plead facts from which the court could infer the defendants breached their fiduciary duties.  In... Continue Reading
    May 10, 2021
  • Failure to Identify Specific Viable Alternative Action Dooms Stock Drop Claim

    The Ninth Circuit recently affirmed the dismissal of an ERISA employer-stock drop putative class action, holding that the plaintiff’s failure to identify specific, viable alternative actions that plan fiduciaries should have taken instead of the challenged actions was fatal to her claim. In so holding, the Ninth Circuit joined the Second, Fifth, Sixth, and Eighth... Continue Reading
    April 29, 2021
  • Ninth Circuit: ERISA Does Not Bar Forum Selection Clauses

    Aligning itself with other circuit courts that have ruled on the issue, the Ninth Circuit recently held that ERISA does not bar forum selection clauses in benefit plans.  The background of the case and the Ninth Circuit’s ruling are straightforward.  Plaintiff filed a putative class action in the Northern District of California challenging the management...… Continue Reading
    April 7, 2021