Stacey C.S. Cerrone is a principal and office litigation manager of the New Orleans, Louisiana office of Jackson Lewis P.C. and a core member of the Employee Benefits and the ERISA Complex Litigation practice teams. Her nationwide practice focuses on the defense of complex ERISA class actions filed against public and private single employer ERISA plan sponsors and fiduciaries, as well as multi-employer plans and fiduciaries and ERISA plan services providers. Stacey litigates a wide variety of class action claims, including 401(k) fee claims, stock drop claims, “church plan” and “government plan” claims, health and welfare plan claims, and ERISA Section 510 claims.  She also litigates ERISA benefit claims and claims involving non-ERISA plans.

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

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.

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”),

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

Recently, in Davis v. Salesforce.com, 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

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

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

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

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.,

In a 5-4 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that federal courts can review decisions by the U.S. Railroad Retirement Board denying claimants’ requests to reopen prior benefits denials. Salinas v. U.S. R.R. Ret. Bd., No. 19-199 (Feb. 3, 2021).

Read the full article at Jackson Lewis Benefits Law Advisor Blog.