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René E. ThorneBlog Posts

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  • UPDATE ON UNIVERSITY SECTION 403(b) CASES: INCONSISTENT RULINGS

    As a result of rulings on motions to dismiss within a day of each other (May 10 and 11, 2017, respectively), Emory University and Duke University must continue to defend claims challenging aspects of their Section 403(b) retirement plans in plaintiffs’ proposed class actions: Henderson v. Emory Univ., N.D. Ga., No. 1:16-cv-02920-CAP; and Clark v....… Continue Reading
    May 18, 2017
  • THE FIFTH CIRCUIT CALLS INTO QUESTION ITS STANDARD OF REVIEW IN ERISA DENIAL OF BENEFITS CASES

    Explaining that “[a]s any sports fan dismayed that instant replay did not overturn a blown call learns, it is difficult to overcome a deferential standard of review,” a panel of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals has called for a re-examination of the Court’s standard of review in ERISA denial of benefits cases where the...… Continue Reading
    May 17, 2017
  • UPDATE ON UNIVERSITY SECTION 403(b) CASES: INCONSISTENT RULINGS

    As a result of rulings on motions to dismiss within a day of each other (May 10 and 11, 2017, respectively), Emory University and Duke University must continue to defend claims challenging aspects of their Section 403(b) retirement plans in plaintiffs’ proposed class actions: Henderson v. Emory Univ., N.D. Ga., No. 1:16-cv-02920-CAP; and Clark v....… Continue Reading
    May 17, 2017
  • SUPREME COURT HEARS “CHURCH PLAN” ERISA CLASS ACTION CASES

    On Monday, the Supreme Court heard oral argument in the consolidated “church plan” cases, Advocate Health Care Network v. Stapleton, St. Peter’s Healthcare System v. Kaplan, and Dignity Health v. Rollins.  As an initial matter, unless the Senate confirms Neil Gorsuch in the very near future, the case will be decided by an eight-Justice court.  While it’s impossible … Continue Reading
    March 29, 2017
  • SUPREME COURT HEARS “CHURCH PLAN” ERISA CLASS ACTION CASES

    On Monday, the Supreme Court heard oral argument in the consolidated “church plan” cases, Advocate Health Care Network v. Stapleton, St. Peter’s Healthcare System v. Kaplan, and Dignity Health v. Rollins.  As an initial matter, unless the Senate confirms Neil Gorsuch in the very near future, the case will be decided by an eight-Justice court.  … Continue Reading
    March 29, 2017
  • DISGORGEMENT CLAIMS CONTINUE TO CONFOUND COURTS IN ERISA CLASS ACTIONS

    Courts continue to be split over the availability of disgorgement and “accounting for profits” in ERISA class actions involving in-house investment plans. On March 3, 2017, in Brotherston v. Putnam Investments, LLC, No. 1:15-cv-13825-WGY (D. Mass. March 3, 2017), the court declined to resolve the dispute at the summary judgment stage, allowing the certified class … Continue Reading
    March 21, 2017
  • DISGORGEMENT CLAIMS CONTINUE TO CONFOUND COURTS IN ERISA CLASS ACTIONS

    Courts continue to be split over the availability of disgorgement and “accounting for profits” in ERISA class actions involving in-house investment plans. On March 3, 2017, in Brotherston v. Putnam Investments, LLC, No. 1:15-cv-13825-WGY (D. Mass. March 3, 2017), the court declined to resolve the dispute at the summary judgment stage, allowing the certified class … Continue Reading
    March 21, 2017
  • ANOTHER ERISA CHURCH PLAN CLASS ACTION SETTLES

    Citing to the “significant uncertainties in predicting the outcome” of their litigation “where the critical issue is pending before the Supreme Court (oral argument on the scope of ERISA’s church plan exemption is set in three consolidated cases for March 27), Plaintiffs in Butler et al. vs. Holy Cross Hospital, another church plan class action, … Continue Reading
    March 9, 2017
  • ANOTHER ERISA CHURCH PLAN CLASS ACTION SETTLES

    Citing to the “significant uncertainties in predicting the outcome” of their litigation “where the critical issue is pending before the Supreme Court (oral argument on the scope of ERISA’s church plan exemption is set in three consolidated cases for March 27), Plaintiffs in Butler et al. vs. Holy Cross Hospital, another church plan class action, … Continue Reading
    March 9, 2017
  • Church Plan Cases: Federal Agencies Finally Speak

    As many of you know, currently pending before the Supreme Court are consolidated cases from the Third, Seventh, and Ninth Circuits holding that, for religiously affiliated employers, employee benefits plans must initially be established by a church for the plans to be exempt from ERISA as “church plans.” The circuit courts issued these holdings when, … Continue Reading
    January 31, 2017

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