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René E. ThorneBlog Posts

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  • Second Circuit: Investment Advisor Not Covered by Plaintiff’s Employment Arbitration Agreement

    The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit recently concluded that investment advisor Ruane Cunniff & Goldfarb must face a proposed class action under ERISA Section 502(a)(2) for breach of fiduciary duty relating to its alleged mismanagement of a profit-sharing plan sponsored by DST Systems, Inc.  Cooper v. Ruane Cunniff & Goldfarb Inc., No. 17-2805 (2d... Continue Reading
    March 7, 2021
  • BlackRock 401(k) Plan Class Action Headed for Trial

    A class action alleging that BlackRock entities favored their own proprietary funds when selecting investment options for BlackRock’s 401(k) Plan is headed for trial after Judge Haywood S. Gilliam, Jr. denied both parties’ motions for summary judgment on January 12, 2021. Baird v. BlackRock Inst’l. Trust Co., No. 17-1892 (N.D. Cal. Jan. 12, 2021). BlackRock...… Continue Reading
    January 14, 2021
  • BlackRock 401(k) Plan Class Action Headed for Trial

    A class action alleging that BlackRock entities favored their own proprietary funds when selecting investment options for BlackRock’s 401(k) Plan is headed for trial after Judge Haywood S. Gilliam, Jr. denied both parties’ motions for summary judgment on January 12, 2021. Baird v. BlackRock Inst’l. Trust Co., No. 17-1892 (N.D. Cal. Jan. 12, 2021). Read the... Continue Reading
    January 14, 2021
  • Is Personal Information of Retirement Plan Participants an ERISA Plan Asset?

    A little more than one year ago, we reported on a settlement (Cassell et al. v. Vanderbilt University, et al.) involving the alleged wrongful use of personal information belonging to retirement plan participants, claimed to be “plan assets.” This year, similar claims have been made against Shell Oil Company in connection with its 401(k) plan. Retirement...… Continue Reading
    July 9, 2020
  • Arbitration of ERISA Claims – Update

    Some of you may remember that back in 2015, we published an article entitled Arbitration of ERISA Claims – Yes You Can!  A link to that article can be found here.  In that article, we suggested that one key reason for adding ERISA claims to your arbitration agreement was to avoid class actions through the...… Continue Reading
    May 29, 2018
  • Class Certification Granted in Goldman Sachs Gender Discrimination Litigation

    In a 49-page opinion issued last week, Judge Analisa Torres of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York granted class certification to a group of women alleging that Goldman Sachs systemically and pervasively discriminated against female professional employees in violation of Title VII and the New York City Human Rights...… Continue Reading
    April 6, 2018
  • THE FULL FIFTH CIRCUIT WILL RE-VISIT THE STANDARD OF REVIEW IN DENIAL OF BENEFITS CASES

    On July 10, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals announced that the full Court would re-hear a recent case concerning the applicable standard of review in an ERISA denial of benefits case – which is often outcome-determinative in favor of insurers and benefit plans. As we previously reported, in Ariana M. v. Humana Health Plan...… Continue Reading
    July 12, 2017
  • Proving Loss Causation in Breach of Fiduciary Claims — The Split Widens

    As a follow up to Heather Panick’s article below, please see my recent article in Bloomberg BNA Pension and Benefits Daily – Thorne Article… Continue Reading
    June 28, 2017
  • UNANIMOUS SUPREME COURT DECISION IN FAVOR OF “CHURCH PLAN” DEFENDANTS

    Today, the Supreme Court handed a long-awaited victory to religiously affiliated organizations operating pension plans under ERISA’s “church plan” exemption. In a surprising 8-0 ruling, the Court agreed with the Defendants that the exemption applies to pension plans maintained by church affiliated organizations such as healthcare facilities, even if the plans were not established by...… Continue Reading
    June 5, 2017
  • UNANIMOUS SUPREME COURT DECISION IN FAVOR OF “CHURCH PLAN” DEFENDANTS

    Today, the Supreme Court handed a long-awaited victory to religiously affiliated organizations operating pension plans under ERISA’s “church plan” exemption. In a surprising 8-0 ruling, the Court agreed with the Defendants that the exemption applies to pension plans maintained by church affiliated organizations such as healthcare facilities, even if the plans were not established by...… Continue Reading
    June 5, 2017

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