In Sacerdote v. New York University, a class of university employees who participated in Defendant’s 403(b) plans brought ERISA breach of fiduciary duty claims against Defendant, challenging the administration of its retirement plans. The district court dismissed two claims and proceeded to a bench trial on the remainder, and ultimately found in favor of
Howard Shapiro is a principal in the New Orleans, Louisiana, office of Jackson Lewis P.C., and is co-leader of the firm’s ERISA Complex Litigation group. Howard focuses his practice on the defense of large, sophisticated ERISA class actions.
Howard defends “bet-the-company” litigation where damages are potentially material. His cases involve the defense of Defined Benefit plans, 401(k) Plans, and 403(b) Plans. He also defends litigation involving health and welfare plan issues. His practice is nationwide, and throughout his career, Howard has appeared as counsel across the entire country. Typically, his cases involve damage allegations in excess of hundreds of millions of dollars. Howard has defended cases involving: breach of fiduciary duty; breach of the duty of loyalty; Prohibited Transactions; 401(k) Plan asset performance, fees, and expense issues; 403(b) Plan asset performance, fees, and expense issues; defined benefit plan asset issues, accrual issues, and cut-back issues; Cash Balance Plan issues; ESOP litigation; fiduciary misrepresentation claims; sophisticated preemption issues; Executive Compensation litigation, both pension and welfare claims; Directed Trustee claims; retiree rights litigation; severance plan class actions; Section 510 cases; and complex benefit claim cases. He has appeared in federal courts from coast to coast while maintaining an active national ERISA litigation practice.
United States District Court Dismisses 401(k) Plan Recordkeeper Fee Complaint
Recently, the United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania granted a Motion to Dismiss, dismissing ERISA breach of fiduciary duty claims based on excessive recordkeeping fee allegations. The district court addressed the level of detail plaintiffs must provide to move an ERISA breach of fiduciary duty recordkeeping fee allegation from possible to…
Seventh Circuit Revives State Law Claims Against Executives Acting As “Dual-Hat” Fiduciaries
The Seventh Circuit ruled recently that ERISA does not preempt certain state law claims against directors and officers because ERISA’s text and purpose contemplate parallel corporate state-law liability against executives who act as “dual hat” fiduciaries.
In Halperin v. Richards, Plaintiffs were co-trustees of a Chapter 11 liquidating trust for Appvion, a paper company that…
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)…
Supreme Court: Plaintiffs Who Suffered No Injury Lack Standing to Sue under ERISA
The plaintiffs’ expectations surely suffered a blow after reading the Supreme Court’s initial observation in their case: “If [the plaintiffs] were to lose this lawsuit, they would still receive the exact same monthly benefits that they are already slated to receive, not a penny less. If [the plaintiffs] were to win this lawsuit, they would…
COBRA Notice Litigation: Cases Are Mushrooming and Settlements Are, Too
Imagine something as simple as a COBRA notice that complies with law, but is not identical to the Department of Labor’s (DOL) model notice, leading to six- or seven-figure class action litigation settlements?
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The Supreme Court Defines Actual Knowledge
In a closely watched decision, Intel Corporation Investment Policy Committee v. Sulyma, Slip Op. No. 18-1116 (U.S. S. Ct., Feb. 26, 2020), construing ERISA’s three-year statute of limitations, see ERISA § 413(2), 29 U.S.C. § 1113(2), the Supreme Court held unanimously (J. Alito) that “actual knowledge” means “. . . when a plaintiff actually…