Employee Benefits Litigation

Overview

Disputes over employee benefits are becoming more common, bringing financial risk to employers and plan fiduciaries. Our ERISA Litigation team develops strategies and programs to address benefits disputes before they reach litigation.

We regularly advise clients on developing best practices, proper compliance, benefit claims and appeals procedures, and litigation avoidance approaches and, if necessary, defenses that can eliminate or minimize liability exposure.

When benefits disputes result in litigation, we defend clients in a wide-variety of cases in state and federal courts.  We have experience in class actions, multiemployer pension fund withdrawal liability and contribution claims, fiduciary breach and prohibited transaction claims, actions involving 401(k), defined benefit pension plans, and employee stock ownership (ESOP) plans, as well as disputes involving non-qualified and top hat deferred compensation plans, disability claims and medical provider disputes.

 

We defend clients in U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) investigations and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) audits involving ESOPs and other retirement plans. We advise on compliance issues related to Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC), withdrawal liability and pension plans, investigations and subpoenas responses, as well as defending audit demands by multiemployer benefit funds and interview requests from government agencies.

Our ERISA Litigation team regularly collaborates with the firm’s labor and employment and government investigation lawyers. Our interdisciplinary approach provides employers with a well-rounded and coordinated source for advice, guidance and defense of potential litigation.

Experience

Our ERISA Litigation team has experience defending:

  • Retirement plan claims alleging under-valued lump sum distributions or benefit payments and fiduciary breaches.
  • Multiemployer pension plan disputes involving withdrawal liability, contributions and audit demand issues.
  • DOL investigations and lawsuits involving retirement plans, welfare plans and ESOPs.
  • Alleged violations of ERISA’s anti-cutback provision and other accrued benefit determinations.
  • Retiree medical class actions related to changes made to retiree medical plans, including collectively-bargained plans.
  • ERISA Section 510 retaliation and interference claims, including challenges to disability retirement benefits and gender transition issues.
  • Medical provider lawsuits involving out-of-network physician attempts to renegotiate reimbursement levels through claim assignments.
  • Suits involving the calculation of medical provider reimbursements, including disputes over usual, customary and reasonable benefit determinations.
  • Defense of plan administrators and fiduciaries in challenges to benefit claim determinations involving qualified and non-qualified retirement plans.
  • Defense of plan fiduciaries in fiduciary breach lawsuits challenging benefit plan compliance and plan investment decisions under ERISA.
  • PBGC investigations into pension plan funding and impact of transactions on pension security of participants.
  • ESOP challenges to consideration paid for and valuation of privately held employer stock.
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