Benefits

  • March 15, 2024

    Cornell Workers Want High Court Review Of ERISA Fee Suit

    A group of Cornell University employees asked the U.S. Supreme Court to review their sweeping class action accusing the university of mismanaging its employees' retirement savings, saying the Second Circuit deepened a circuit split over what it takes to bring prohibited transaction allegations under federal benefits law.

  • March 15, 2024

    Sanderson Beats Chicken Buyers' Antitrust Retrial Attempt

    Direct chicken purchasers who lost a price-fixing trial against Sanderson Farms cannot have another shot at bringing their case to a jury because their first trial was fair, and their circumstantial evidence couldn't defeat the company's competing proof, an Illinois federal judge has ruled.

  • March 15, 2024

    9th Circ. Pauses Benefits Case Awaiting UBH Challenge

    The Ninth Circuit has told a trial court to halt what United Behavioral Health has called an improper revival of a proposed class action alleging the insurance company illegally denied coverage for mental health and substance abuse treatment.

  • March 15, 2024

    Ohio Ambulance Co. Says HR Firm Botched Tax Returns

    An Ohio ambulance company accused its human resources management firm of failing to accurately prepare and submit amended tax returns that would have allowed the company to claim pandemic-era tax credits, according to a complaint filed in an Ohio federal court.

  • March 15, 2024

    GE Reaches Settlement Deal In Ex-Workers' Severance Fight

    General Electric Co. told a Kansas federal court it has reached a deal to resolve a federal benefits lawsuit from two former wind farm workers who alleged they were shortchanged on severance, a settlement coming after the energy giant lost a motion to dismiss the case in December.

  • March 15, 2024

    IRS Asked To Change Effective Date In Part-Time Worker Rule

    The effective date for proposed IRS rules on participation of long-term, part-time employees in retirement plans would violate administrative law if not changed in final regulations, an attorney speaking for a benefits organization told the agency and the U.S. Treasury Department at a hearing Friday.

  • March 15, 2024

    Apple, Investors Cut $490M China Sales Deal Ahead Of Trial

    Apple has made a $490 million deal to resolve a shareholder class action accusing the company and its top brass of misleading investors about iPhone sales in China in a legal fight that was slated for a September jury trial, according to court documents filed Friday in California federal court.

  • March 15, 2024

    DOL Says PBGC Overpayment Returns Don't Violate ERISA

    The U.S. Department of Labor's employee benefits arm says it won't take enforcement action against pension plans that return overpayments made by the nation's pension backstop agency during the COVID-19 pandemic, as Congress continues to probe an accidental $127 million overpayment to a Teamsters plan.

  • March 15, 2024

    $3B In Employment Tax Credits Claimed In Scheme, Feds Say

    Three New Jersey men who said they were leaders of religious and charitable organizations fraudulently claimed nearly $3 billion in employment tax credits from a federal pandemic loan program, according to a criminal complaint filed in New Jersey federal court.

  • March 15, 2024

    Biz Groups Back Yale Win In 2nd Circ. ERISA Battle

    The U.S. Chamber of Commerce told the Second Circuit that Yale University employees are trying to set a "wildly impractical" standard in their request for a new jury trial after they were awarded zero damages in their suit accusing the school of saddling their retirement plan with high fees.

  • March 14, 2024

    NC Tells Appeals Court Worker Was Transferred, Not Demoted

    The state of North Carolina has asked a state appeals court to uphold a state agency's determination that a Department of Health and Human Services employee was not unlawfully demoted, arguing that the facts indicate that the worker was merely reassigned.

  • March 14, 2024

    Extended Workers' Comp Needs High Bar, NC Justices Told

    The North Carolina Department of Public Safety told the state's top court Wednesday that injured workers must clear a higher hurdle to keep collecting disability benefits after their initial workers' compensation runs out, saying an appellate court got it wrong by applying a more lax standard.

  • March 14, 2024

    Mass. High Court Says Tufts Win In Tenure Case 'Premature'

    Tenured professors at Tufts University whose salaries were slashed under a newly enacted requirement that they bring in at least half their income through research grants will have another chance to prove those pay cuts undermine academic freedom, Massachusetts' highest court said Thursday.

  • March 14, 2024

    8th Circ. Questions Patient Standing In ERISA Claims Dispute

    An Eighth Circuit panel appeared skeptical Thursday of reviving a suit from patients insured by UnitedHealth Group alleging a billing practice known as cross-plan offsetting violated federal benefits law, with judges questioning whether the patients sufficiently established injury.

  • March 14, 2024

    NFL Had Ample Cause To Deny Disability Benefits, Court Says

    A Texas federal judge has tossed a former NFL player's suit against the league for denying him permanent disability benefits, following the recommendation from a magistrate judge who determined that, although injuries ultimately ended his football career, eight different doctors had said he was capable of working.

  • March 14, 2024

    NBA Ref Fired Over COVID Vax Refusal Can Get Benefits

    A Manhattan federal court ruled that an NBA referee who was fired for refusing to get the COVID-19 vaccine for religious reasons can get his retirement benefits, rejecting the league's contention that the prospect of his reemployment made him ineligible.

  • March 14, 2024

    Ex-Mass. Pol Says Federalism Bars COVID Fraud Cases

    A former Massachusetts state senator charged with collecting CARES Act-funded unemployment benefits while being paid for consulting work said in a motion filed Thursday that the 10th Amendment prohibits the federal government from prosecuting him for actions that occurred at the state level.

  • March 14, 2024

    Lockheed Offloaded Pensions In Risky Deal, Retirees Say

    A group of retirees claim aerospace defense company Lockheed Martin committed an "egregious act of disloyalty" when it passed off $9 billion in pension responsibilities for 31,000 beneficiaries to a risky annuity provider, according to a suit filed in Maryland federal court.

  • March 13, 2024

    9th Circ. Unsure If Abortion Pill Suit Harms Red States

    Two Ninth Circuit judges on Wednesday challenged Idaho and other Republican-led states' bid to intervene in Washington's lawsuit seeking to expand access to the abortion pill mifepristone, asking if the states could back up their claims of economic harm.

  • March 13, 2024

    Cherry IP Deception Claims Would Inflame Jury, Canada Says

    The Canadian government has told a Washington federal judge that jurors should not hear allegations that its IP licenser deceived the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in a trial against Washington fruit growers it claims rebranded a unique Canadian sweet cherry variety as their own, citing the "inflammatory" nature of the growers' counterclaim.

  • March 13, 2024

    Pa. Energy Co. Workers Secure Class Status In 401(k) Suit

    Current and former employees of a Pennsylvania energy company were granted class status Wednesday in their suit alleging the business loaded its employee retirement plans with expensive, underperforming investment options for years, after a federal judge ruled the company couldn't escape the suit.

  • March 13, 2024

    Google Ordered To Turn Over Docs In Discrimination Suit

    A Texas federal judge ordered Google to hand over additional documents Wednesday as the tech giant continued to spar with a former employee, settling the latest spat between the parties in what has become an increasingly contentious battle over the ex-worker's discrimination claims.

  • March 13, 2024

    Aetna Can't Avoid Bias Suit Over Fertility Treatment Policy

    Aetna must face a proposed class action alleging it readily covers fertility treatments for infertile heterosexual women but forces non-heterosexual women to spend thousands out of pocket before paying for their treatments, with a Connecticut federal judge saying it doesn't matter if the insurer didn't control the health plan's terms.

  • March 13, 2024

    Customer Support Co. To Pay $3M In DC Misclassification Suit

    A customer service company that partners with Comcast and others will shell out $3 million and halt operations in D.C. to end a suit lodged by the district's attorney general claiming the company misclassified workers as independent contractors.

  • March 12, 2024

    Ex-Biopharma CEO Sues For Post-Sale Share Appraisal In Del.

    The co-founder of Caraway Therapeutics Inc. sued in Delaware's Court of Chancery on Tuesday for an appraisal of his shares following the company's November merger with a subsidiary of pharmaceutical giant Merck, alleging that it "was an unfair cash-out transaction" and that he is owed at least a million more shares.

Expert Analysis

  • Tips For Litigating Against Pro Se Parties In Complex Disputes

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    Litigating against self-represented parties in complex cases can pose unique challenges for attorneys, but for the most part, it requires the same skills that are useful in other cases — from documenting everything to understanding one’s ethical duties, says Bryan Ketroser at Alto Litigation.

  • How Justices' Disclosure Ruling May Change Corp. Filings

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    In the upcoming Macquarie Infrastructure v. Moab Partners case, the U.S. Supreme Court will resolve a circuit split over whether a company may be sued for private securities fraud if they fail to disclose certain financial information in public filings, which may change the way management analyzes industry risks and trends for investors, says Paul Kisslinger at Lewis Brisbois.

  • Pro Bono Work Is Powerful Self-Help For Attorneys

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    Oct. 22-28 is Pro Bono Week, serving as a useful reminder that offering free legal help to the public can help attorneys expand their legal toolbox, forge community relationships and create human connections, despite the challenges of this kind of work, says Orlando Lopez at Culhane Meadows.

  • Series

    Playing In A Rock Cover Band Makes Me A Better Lawyer

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    Performing in a classic rock cover band has driven me to hone several skills — including focus, organization and networking — that have benefited my professional development, demonstrating that taking time to follow your muse outside of work can be a boon to your career, says Michael Gambro at Cadwalader.

  • Series

    The Pop Culture Docket: Judge Espinosa On 'Lincoln Lawyer'

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    The murder trials in Netflix’s “The Lincoln Lawyer” illustrate the stark contrast between the ethical high ground that fosters and maintains the criminal justice system's integrity, and the ethical abyss that can undermine it, with an important reminder for all legal practitioners, say Judge Adam Espinosa and Andrew Howard at the Colorado 2nd Judicial District Court.

  • What ESG Investing Ruling Means For Fiduciaries

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    A Texas federal court’s recent ruling — upholding a U.S. Department of Labor rule allowing retirement plan fiduciaries to consider ESG factors in certain investment decisions — provides welcome clarity for plans governed by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act that have long been buffeted by partisan noise and misinformation, say attorneys at Covington.

  • Opinion

    Newman Suspension Shows Need For Judicial Reform

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    The recent suspension of U.S. Circuit Judge Pauline Newman following her alleged refusal to participate in a disability inquiry reveals the need for judicial misconduct reforms to ensure that judges step down when they can no longer serve effectively, says Aliza Shatzman at The Legal Accountability Project.

  • How 2 Cases Could Undermine The Anti-ESG Movement

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    A decision from a federal court in Texas and another case currently making its way through Missouri federal court signal an emerging judicial recognition of the link between environmental, social and governance considerations and maximizing financial returns, say Amy Roy and Robert Skinner at Ropes & Gray.

  • Considerations And Calculations For DOJ Clawback Program

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    The U.S. Department of Justice’s clawback pilot program announced earlier this year presents numerous questions for businesses, and both hypothetical and recent real-world examples capture how companies’ cost-benefit analyses about whether to claw back compensation in exchange for penalty reductions may differ, say Yogesh Bahl and Jonathan Hecht at Resolution Economics.

  • SEC's Life Sciences Actions Utilize Novel Tools And Theories

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    Recent enforcement actions show that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is employing new forms of data analytics and noteworthy applications of insider trading laws in its scrutiny of fraud within the life sciences and health industries, say Edward Imperatore and Jina Choi at MoFo.

  • How And Why Your Firm Should Implement Fixed-Fee Billing

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    Amid rising burnout in the legal industry and client efforts to curtail spending, pivoting to a fixed-fee billing model may improve client-attorney relationships and offer lawyers financial, logistical and stress relief — while still maintaining profit margins, say Kevin Henderson and Eric Pacifici at SMB Law Group.

  • Opinion

    Judicial Independence Needs Defense Amid Political Threats

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    Amid recent and historic challenges to the judiciary from political forces, safeguarding judicial independence and maintaining the integrity of the legal system is increasingly urgent, says Robert Peck at the Center for Constitutional Litigation.

  • How Law Firms Can Use Account-Based Marketing Strategies

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    Amid several evolving legal industry trends, account-based marketing can help law firms uncover additional revenue-generating opportunities with existing clients, with key considerations ranging from data analytics to relationship building, say Jennifer Ramsey at stage LLC and consultant Gina Sponzilli.

  • Wilderness Therapy Ruling May Deter Broad Policy Exclusions

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    A Utah federal court's recent ruling in M.A. v. United Healthcare that an insurance policy exclusion for the adolescent behavioral health treatment known as wilderness therapy was ambiguous shows that blanket rejections can go too far, and may preclude new rationales for claim denials, says Mark DeBofsky at DeBofsky Law.

  • Strategic Succession Planning At Law Firms Is Crucial

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    Senior partners' reluctance to retire, the rise of the nonequity partner tier and generational differences in expectations are all contributing to an increasing number of departures from BigLaw, making it imperative for firms to encourage retirement among senior ranks and provide clearer leadership pathways to junior attorneys, says Laura Leopard at Leopard Solutions.

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