Benefits

  • June 18, 2024

    Kohler Inks $2.45M Deal To Wrap Up Mortality Table Suit

    Kohler struck a $2.45 million deal that aims to beef up pension payouts for about 500 married retirees to end a proposed class action claiming the manufacturing company shorted couples on pension benefits through the use of outdated data, according to a Wisconsin federal court filing.

  • June 18, 2024

    Milliman Wins 401(k) Mismanagement Suit After Trial

    Consulting company Milliman Inc. prevailed over a class action suit alleging the company violated federal benefits law by keeping poorly performing investments tied to a financial subsidiary in its employee 401(k) plan, according to a California federal judge's order entered after a 10-day bench trial.

  • June 18, 2024

    HP Escapes 'Novel' 401(k) Suit Over Use Of Forfeited Funds

    A California federal judge threw out a proposed class action that accused HP of unlawfully using former workers' forfeited 401(k) funds to satisfy its own contributions, saying nothing in federal benefits law required the company to use the funds to cover plan expenses.

  • June 18, 2024

    BDO's $2.25M Deal Ending 401(k) Suit Gets Final OK

    An Illinois federal judge on Monday gave his final sign-off to a $2.25 million settlement accounting firm BDO agreed to pay to resolve a suit alleging the company failed to verify that retirement plan funds in an employee 401(k) were evaluated properly.

  • June 18, 2024

    Va. City Can't Ax Atty's Wrongful Firing Suit Over FMLA Fraud

    A federal judge declined to toss an attorney's suit claiming the Virginia city he worked for illegally fired him and accused him of doctoring a medical form he needed to care for his sick mother, saying he showed the city may have stepped on his medical leave rights.

  • June 18, 2024

    Ex-USC Linebacker Cops To Pandemic Unemployment Fraud

    A former linebacker for the University of Southern California football team pled guilty to fraudulently seeking over $1 million in pandemic-era unemployment benefits.

  • June 17, 2024

    Teamsters Plan Says Health Network Has Monopoly In Conn.

    A Teamsters healthcare benefits plan and a Connecticut public transit provider have sued the healthcare network Hartford Healthcare Corp., accusing it of having a monopoly over healthcare in a half-dozen regions of the state.

  • June 17, 2024

    Accused NBA Fraud Leader May Testify At Doctor's Trial

    A former NBA player who was sentenced to 10 years in prison for allegedly spearheading a scheme to defraud the league's healthcare plan is likely to be called to testify at the upcoming trial of a co-defendant, a Manhattan federal judge said Monday.

  • June 17, 2024

    DOL Says Insurers Can't Block ERISA Retirement Advice Regs

    The U.S. Department of Labor urged a Texas federal court to reject a group of insurers' bid to halt the implementation of recently finalized regulations expanding which types of retirement investment advice fall under the purview of federal benefits law, arguing the challengers' request wasn't justified.

  • June 17, 2024

    Pharmacy Groups Urge High Court To Hear Okla. PBM Case

    Pharmacy industry groups asked the U.S. Supreme Court to reverse a Tenth Circuit decision that overturned portions of an Oklahoma law regulating pharmacy benefit managers, saying these intermediaries have driven up costs for patients while raising their own bottom lines, and states should be allowed to keep them in check.

  • June 17, 2024

    Catching Up With Delaware's Chancery Court

    Proposed amendments to Delaware's General Corporation Law that were prompted by several recent Chancery Court rulings sailed through the state Senate last week despite loud opposition from corporate law professors and other Chancery Court watchers, and Tesla shareholders filed two new suits against CEO Elon Musk. 

  • June 17, 2024

    Justices To Hear Nvidia Case On Securities Pleading Standard

    The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday agreed to hear an appeal of a Ninth Circuit ruling that revived investors' claims over chipmaker Nvidia's crypto mining sales, giving the high court a chance to weigh in on the pleading requirements needed to sustain a shareholder class action.

  • June 14, 2024

    Potato Co.'s Software Rollout Fried Its Revenue, Suit Says

    Potato product manufacturer Lamb Weston has been hit with a proposed shareholder class action in Idaho federal court alleging that it concealed from investors information about the botched implementation of software that had been intended to improve the efficiency of the company's operations but ended up costing the company millions in lost sales.

  • June 14, 2024

    Red States Look To Block ACA Trans Discrimination Rule

    A group of 15 conservative states urged a Mississippi federal court to halt recently finalized regulations clarifying gender identity-based discrimination under the Affordable Care Act from taking effect, saying the new rule strips the states of their right to oversee medical ethics.

  • June 14, 2024

    Providers' $12M Suit Against Cigna, Multiplan Trimmed

    A California federal judge trimmed a suit against Cigna and Multiplan alleging the companies lowballed reimbursement to a group of substance use disorder treatment providers seeking more than $12 million under health plans they administered, keeping a federal benefits law claim intact but dropping several state law claims.

  • June 14, 2024

    NJ Chief Justice Depo 'Redundant' In Pension Fight, Court Told

    The New Jersey judiciary urged the state court to deny a bid to depose Chief Justice Stuart Rabner in a suit brought by a former Superior Court judge over the denial of her disability pension application, arguing she can't meet the heightened burden required to depose a high-ranking official and that the chief justice's testimony is privileged.

  • June 14, 2024

    Former IT Worker Wants Outright Win In FMLA Suit

    A former information technology worker asked a Florida federal court Friday to reconsider a win it denied him in his lawsuit alleging he was fired after he took medical leave to treat anxiety, arguing the court should have found his company acted illegally.

  • June 14, 2024

    Pfizer Worker's Ex-Wife Can't Raid 401(k) To Collect Damages

    The ex-wife of a former Pfizer employee can't use her ex-husband's 401(k) account to collect damages awarded in a defamation suit against him, a Pennsylvania federal judge ruled, saying federal benefits law prevents her from seizing his retirement contributions.

  • June 14, 2024

    4 Big ERISA Decisions From The 1st Half Of 2024

    A California federal court allowed a novel type of 401(k) mismanagement suit to advance to discovery, the Ninth Circuit elaborated on the pleading standard for mental health parity claims, and workers beat back an attempt to force their federal benefits suit into arbitration at the Second Circuit. Here, attorneys discuss four consequential ERISA decisions in 2024's first half.

  • June 13, 2024

    Prudential Investors Get Final OK On $35M Settlement

    A New Jersey federal judge on Thursday granted final approval to a $35 million class action settlement between Prudential Financial Inc. and shareholders who alleged the company hid the risks associated with the purchase of thousands of life insurance policies.

  • June 13, 2024

    New Evidence Triggers Amended Misclassification Complaint

    Growers accusing a chicken farm of misclassifying them as independent contractors can amend their suit, a South Carolina federal judge ruled Thursday, agreeing that new evidence they obtained could expand the suit's reach.

  • June 13, 2024

    Tesla Shareholders Approve Musk's Compensation Package

    Tesla's shareholders voted to approve a multibillion-dollar compensation plan for CEO Elon Musk, the company's top lawyer announced Thursday during a meeting in which investors also approved moving the company's incorporation from Delaware to Texas.

  • June 13, 2024

    Retirement Sponsor Strikes Deal To End 401(k) Fee Suit

    A professional employer organization that offered a $1.5 billion 401(k) plan to credit unions reached a deal to end former plan participants' proposed class action accusing it of saddling them with lofty fees, a Thursday filing in Wisconsin federal court said.

  • June 13, 2024

    Perdue Wants Copycat Wage Suit Tossed or Transferred

    Perdue Foods asked a Maryland federal judge Thursday to throw out or transfer to Georgia a chicken grower's suit alleging independent contractor misclassification, saying the claims are identical to another suit in that state the named plaintiff was involved with.

  • June 13, 2024

    Media Co. Strikes Deal In Suit Alleging Pricey 401(k) Funds

    A media company has agreed to settle a class action alleging it failed to trim costly investment funds from its workers' $540 million 401(k) retirement plan serving 12,000 members, costing them millions in savings, according to a filing in New York federal court.

Expert Analysis

  • Emerging Trends In ESG-Focused Securities Litigation

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    Based on a combination of shareholder pressure, increasing regulatory scrutiny and proposed rulemaking, there has been a proliferation of litigation over public company disclosures and actions regarding environmental, social, and governance factors — and the overall volume of such class actions will likely increase in the coming years, say attorneys at Mintz.

  • Firms Must Rethink How They Train New Lawyers In AI Age

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    As law firms begin to use generative artificial intelligence to complete lower-level legal tasks, they’ll need to consider new ways to train summer associates and early-career attorneys, keeping in mind the five stages of skill acquisition, says Liisa Thomas at Sheppard Mullin.

  • Think Like A Lawyer: Always Be Closing

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    When a lawyer presents their case with the right propulsive structure throughout trial, there is little need for further argument after the close of evidence — and in fact, rehashing it all may test jurors’ patience — so attorneys should consider other strategies for closing arguments, says Luke Andrews at Poole Huffman.

  • Series

    Playing Chess Makes Me A Better Lawyer

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    There are many ways that chess skills translate directly into lawyer skills, but for me, the bigger career lessons go beyond the direct parallels — playing chess has shown me the value of seeing gradual improvement in and focusing deep concentration on a nonwork endeavor, says attorney Steven Fink.

  • 9th Circ. Clarifies ERISA Preemption For Healthcare Industry

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    The Ninth Circuit's recent ruling in Bristol SL Holdings v. Cigna notably clarifies the broad scope of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act's preemption of certain state law causes of action, standing to benefit payors and health plan administrators, say attorneys at Troutman Pepper.

  • Litigation Inspiration: Attys Can Be Heroic Like Olympians

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    Although litigation won’t earn anyone an Olympic medal in Paris this summer, it can be worthy of the same lasting honor if attorneys exercise focused restraint — seeking both their clients’ interests and those of the court — instead of merely pursuing every advantage short of sanctionable conduct, says Bennett Rawicki at Hilgers Graben.

  • Lean Into The 'Great Restoration' To Retain Legal Talent

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    As the “great resignation,” in which employees voluntarily left their jobs in droves, has largely dissipated, legal employers should now work toward the idea of a “great restoration,” adopting strategies to effectively hire, onboard and retain top legal talent, says Molly McGrath at Hiring & Empowering Solutions.

  • A Closer Look At Feds' Proposed Banker Compensation Rule

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    A recently proposed rule to limit financial institutions' ability to award incentive-based compensation for risk-taking may progress through the rulemaking process slowly due to the sheer number of regulators collaborating on the rule and the number of issues under consideration, say attorneys at Troutman Pepper.

  • Series

    Fishing Makes Me A Better Lawyer

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    Atop the list of ways fishing makes me a better lawyer is the relief it offers from the chronic stress of a demanding caseload, but it has also improved my listening skills and patience, and has served as an exceptional setting for building earnest relationships, says Steven DeGeorge​​​​​​​ at Robinson Bradshaw.

  • A Healthier Legal Industry Starts With Emotional Intelligence

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    The legal profession has long been plagued by high rates of mental health issues, in part due to attorneys’ early training and broader societal stereotypes — but developing one’s emotional intelligence is one way to foster positive change, collectively and individually, says attorney Esperanza Franco.

  • To Make Your Legal Writing Clear, Emulate A Master Chef

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    To deliver clear and effective written advocacy, lawyers should follow the model of a fine dining chef — seasoning a foundation of pure facts with punchy descriptors, spicing it up with analogies, refining the recipe and trimming the fat — thus catering to a sophisticated audience of decision-makers, says Reuben Guttman at Guttman Buschner.

  • Circuit Judge Writes An Opinion, AI Helps: What Now?

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    Last week's Eleventh Circuit opinion in Snell v. United Specialty Insurance, notable for a concurrence outlining the use of artificial intelligence to evaluate a term's common meaning, is hopefully the first step toward developing a coherent basis for the judiciary's generative AI use, says David Zaslowsky at Baker McKenzie.

  • Perspectives

    Trauma-Informed Legal Approaches For Pro Bono Attorneys

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    As National Trauma Awareness Month ends, pro bono attorneys should nevertheless continue to acknowledge the mental and physical effects of trauma, allowing them to better represent clients, and protect themselves from compassion fatigue and burnout, say Katherine Cronin at Stinson and Katharine Manning at Blackbird.

  • Series

    Playing Music Makes Me A Better Lawyer

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    My deep and passionate involvement in playing, writing and producing music equipped me with skills — like creativity, improvisation and problem-solving — that contribute to the success of my legal career, says attorney Kenneth Greene.

  • How Attys Can Avoid Pitfalls When Withdrawing From A Case

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    The Trump campaign's recent scuffle over its bid to replace its counsel in a pregnancy retaliation suit offers a chance to remind attorneys that many troubles inherent in withdrawing from a case can be mitigated or entirely avoided by communicating with clients openly and frequently, says Christopher Konneker at Orsinger Nelson.

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