General Fiduciary Breach Litigation

By: Mark Casciari and Michael W. Stevens

Seyfarth Synopsis: A recent Supreme Court decision on federal securities law may hold ramifications for ERISA practitioners by addressing whether disgorgement is an equitable remedy.

ERISA’s civil enforcement provisions generally allow the federal courts to award appropriate “equitable” relief. A permissible equitable remedy is disgorgement, which, in

By Namrata Kotwani and Ian H. Morrison

Seyfarth Synopsis: On February 26, 2020, the Supreme Court unanimously affirmed the Ninth Circuit’s ruling in Intel Corp. Investment Policy Committee, et al. v. Sulyma. 589 U.S. ___ (2020), holding that plan participants must read plan disclosures to have the “actual knowledge” required to trigger ERISA’s shorter 3-year

By Michael W. Stevens, Jonathan A. Braunstein and Mark Casciari

Seyfarth Synopsis: Reversing course and overruling previous precedent, the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit now holds that ERISA plan mandatory arbitration and class action waiver provisions are enforceable, and can require individualized arbitration of claims for breach of fiduciary duties.

In Dorman

By: Meg Troy and Mark Casciari

Seyfarth Synopsis: There is a deep circuit split on who bears the burden of proving loss causation on ERISA breach of fiduciary duty claims. The Supreme Court has now invited the U.S. Solicitor General to submit the United States position on the issue in connection with a petition for

By: Tom Horan and Sam Schwartz-Fenwick

Seyfarth Synopsis: A recent case from the Eastern District of Pennsylvania reaffirms the basic principle that a threshold element of any ERISA claim is pleading the existence of an ERISA plan.

In Dixon v. Washington, No. 18-cv-2838, 2018 WL 5046033 (E.D. Pa.), plaintiffs—members of the congregation of the

Seyfarth Synopsis: Excessive fee complaint dismissed because the diverse selection of funds available to plan participants negates any claim that Defendants breached their duties of prudence simply because cheaper funds were available.

By Ron Kramer and Shannon Callahan

Nearly 20 universities have been sued under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (“ERISA”) over the

By: Mark Casciari and Jim Goodfellow

Seyfarth Synopsis: The Ninth Circuit declined to enforce an agreement to arbitrate ERISA Section 502(a)(2) claims, but did not rule out enforcement in other ERISA claim contexts.

In Munro v. University of Southern California, et al., No. 17-5550, 2018 WL 3542996 (9th Cir. July 24, 2018), plaintiffs sought

By: Chris Busey, Tom Horan and Sam Schwartz-Fenwick

Seyfarth Synopsis: The Fourth Circuit found in favor of an insurer on a claim for life insurance benefits, finding the insured’s failure to submit the required evidence of insurability was not excused by his employer having wrongly deducted premiums for that coverage from his pay.

By Michelle Scannell and Mark Casciari

Seyfarth Synopsis: The Supreme Court appears to have barred equitable tolling under ERISA Section 413’s six-year statute of repose for fiduciary breach claims, subject only to well-pled allegations and proof of fraud or concealment.

Statutes of repose begin to run after a defendant’s last culpable act or omission–regardless