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Chicago Hospital Settles Class Action for $55M

Chicago Hospital Settles Class Action for $55M February 22, 2024. By Jane Mundy.
Evanston, IL NorthShore University Health System has agreed to pay $55 million to settle a federal consumer class action lawsuit that was filed back in 2007. The settlement ends 16 years of litigation over its merger with another hospital that allegedly allowed NorthShore to illegally monopolize the market and unfairly raise prices on patients.

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Another Option for Workers Who Cannot Save through an ERISA Retirement Plan

Another Option for Workers Who Cannot Save through an ERISA Retirement Plan February 8, 2024. By Anne Wallace.
San Francisco, CA In February 2022, the United States Supreme Court denied the petition for certiorari filed by the petitioner in Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association v. The California Secure Choice Retirement Savings Program (CalSavers). The denial kept in place a decision of the Ninth Circuit that permitted a California-sponsored and administered retirement plan for employees of small businesses.
Read [ Another Option for Workers Who Cannot Save through an ERISA Retirement Plan ]

More Long-Term Part Timers May Now Save Through 401k ERISA Plans

More Long-Term Part Timers May Now Save Through 401k ERISA Plans January 22, 2024. By Anne Wallace.
Washington, DC Beginning on January 1, 2024, an expanded group of long-term part-time employees may be able to participate in their employer’s 401k ERISA retirement plan. It’s a small tweak in the 2019 Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement Act (SECURE Act) that could have major implications for young and underemployed workers who struggle to save for retirement. Many employers are still processing the changes, so it may ultimately fall to workers to ensure that they are afforded the opportunities provided by law. In most cases, a well-crafted inquiry (with the advice of competent counsel) may eliminate the need for an ERISA lawsuit.
Read [ More Long-Term Part Timers May Now Save Through 401k ERISA Plans ]

Are Forfeiture Lawsuits the Next Trend for ERISA Litigation in 2024?

Are Forfeiture Lawsuits the Next Trend for ERISA Litigation in 2024? January 3, 2024. By Anne Wallace.
Oakland, CA On December 13, Clorox Co. asked the Northern District of California to dismiss a class action ERISA breach of fiduciary duty lawsuit that targets the company’s longstanding practice of using forfeited employer contributions to participants’ accounts to reduce its required contributions to the plan. Plan participants argue that forfeited amounts should instead be used to defray the plan’s administrative expenses.
Read [ Are Forfeiture Lawsuits the Next Trend for ERISA Litigation in 2024? ]

MetLife to Settle ERISA Lawsuit for $4.5 Million

MetLife to Settle ERISA Lawsuit for $4.5 Million December 15, 2023. By Anne Wallace.
New York, NY On November 20 MetLife Group and a group of participants in the MetLife 401(k) Plan agreed to settle an ERISA breach of fiduciary duty lawsuit for $4.5 million. In their amended class-action complaint, plan participants accused plan fiduciaries of failing to act solely in the interest of plan participants and beneficiaries by including proprietary investment options in the plan when similar, cheaper and better-performing investments were available in the marketplace.

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ESG Rules for ERISA Plan Investing Survive Conservative Challenge

ESG Rules for ERISA Plan Investing Survive Conservative Challenge November 14, 2023. By Anne Wallace.
Amarillo, TX On September 21, US District Court for the Northern District of Texas Judge Matthew J. Kasmaryk held that plan fiduciaries may consider environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors in choosing pension plan investments. The ERISA lawsuit, Utah v. Walsh, was seen as the “anti-woke” coalition’s best shot at limiting the range of factors that fiduciaries could consider in investment decisions.
Read [ ESG Rules for ERISA Plan Investing Survive Conservative Challenge ]

Hair Relaxer Formaldehyde and the FDA’s Failure to Warn

Hair Relaxer Formaldehyde and the FDA’s Failure to Warn October 31, 2023. By Jane Mundy.
Santa Clara, CA The FDA has known since at least 2011 that hair straighteners containing formaldehyde and other toxic chemicals have made hair salon workers and their clients sick, yet it is just now considering banning hair relaxers that contain or emit the chemical by April 2024, due to a link with long-term health effects. The agency said it has been communicating with the public since 2010 about formaldehyde’s potential health concerns, and for more than a decade it has received numerous warnings, including the cosmetic industry’s own experts stating the products unsafe.
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Construction Laborers Pension Plan Sues Investment Manager for ERISA Breach

Construction Laborers Pension Plan Sues Investment Manager for ERISA Breach October 17, 2023. By Anne Wallace.
Los Angeles, CA On September 15, the Construction Laborers Pension Plan for Southern California and the Board of Trustees for that fund filed an ERISA lawsuit against Meketa Investment Group and Judy Chambers. The lawsuit alleges that Meketa breached its fiduciary duty to the Pension Fund by advising it to invest $30 million in participants’ retirement savings in a California-focused Infrastructure Fund to be managed by Onset General Partner, LLC. Onset was a hastily formed company with ties to Chambers. Meketa then essentially abandoned its fiduciary and contractual duties to review and monitor Onset’s investment program.
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Allianz Asset Management Settles ERISA Lawsuit for $7.5 Million

Allianz Asset Management Settles ERISA Lawsuit for $7.5 Million October 3, 2023. By Anne Wallace.
Santa Ana, CA On August 18, Allianz Asset Management of America, LLC and the Investment Committee of the Allianz Asset Management of America 401(k) Savings and Retirement Plan agreed to settle a breach of fiduciary duty ERISA lawsuit brought by former participants in the plan. The $7.5 million payout will go to roughly 5,139 participants and beneficiaries in the 401k plan, according to the filing.
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Minnesota District Court Dismisses ERISA Fiduciary Breach Lawsuit

Minnesota District Court Dismisses ERISA Fiduciary Breach Lawsuit September 5, 2023. By Anne Wallace.
St. Paul, MN On August 21, the federal District Court for the District of Minnesota dismissed – for a second time-- an ERISA lawsuit brought by participants in the Taylor Corporation’s 401k and profit-sharing plan. The decision in Fritton v. Taylor Corp. concludes that the participants did not meet the requirements of what it termed “the meaningful benchmark standard.” The District Court is not the only court to apply this standard.
Read [ Minnesota District Court Dismisses ERISA Fiduciary Breach Lawsuit ]

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