Payne & Fears LLP Obtains a Major Victory for an ERISA Pension Plan
Payne & Fears LLP obtained a major victory for an ERISA pension plan by ending a nationwide class action lawsuit claiming back pension benefits for a period exceeding twenty years. The federal court granted our motion for summary judgment brought on behalf of the pension plan, and denied the motion for summary judgment brought by the named class representative plaintiff. The court first adopted our argument that a delay of the plan administrator in responding to the plaintiff’s administrative appeal was not sufficiently egregious to invoke de novo review, so the court applied abuse of discretion review. Even though the plaintiff argued that the plan’s interpretation of a defined term was inconsistent and at odds with the plain language of the plan, the court adopted our arguments that the plan administrator’s interpretation was not only consistent with the text, but it was also consistently applied, consistent with the purposes and goals of the plan, and consistent with ERISA law. Attorneys Eric Sohlgren and Andrew Haeffele led the briefing effort, and Daniel Fears argued the motion before the federal court.
Practice areas: ERISA Litigation
Attorneys: Andrew K. Haeffele, Daniel F. Fears , Eric C. Sohlgren