Tag Archives: fiduciary liability

U.S. Supreme Court: ERISA Plan Fiduciaries Have Continuing Duty to Monitor Investments

ERISA plan fiduciaries have a continuing duty to monitor selected plan investments and to remove imprudent investment selections, according to the U.S. Supreme Court’s unanimous May 18, 2015 opinion in Tibble v. Edison International. Although the Court affirmed the fiduciary duty to monitor, it otherwise left the development of the duty’s contours to be delineated … Continue Reading

U.S. Stepping Up Scrutiny of ESOPs

According to a June 23, 2014 Wall Street Journal article entitled “U.S. Increases Scrutiny of Employee-Stock Ownership Plans” (here), the federal government is “stepping up scrutiny of how U.S. companies are valued for employee-stock ownership plans.” This increased scrutiny includes increased litigation activity, often alleging that ESOP share valuations are flawed. The targets of this … Continue Reading

First Circuit: Private Equity Fund Liable for Bankrupt Portfolio Company’s Pension Obligations

On July 24, 2013, in a case the court said was one of “first impression,” the First Circuit held that, due to the nature of its involvement in the management of its portfolio company’s operations, a private equity firm was potentially liable for the portfolio company’s pension obligations. The decision has significant implications for the … Continue Reading

The List: ERISA Class Action Lawsuit Settlements

As D&O maven Dan Bailey noted in a recent memo (here), ERISA class action litigation represents a significant and growing liability exposure for benefit plan fiduciaries. With the recent addition of the $70.5 million settlement in the Tyco ERISA class action lawsuit (about which refer here) and the $55 million settlement in the Countrywide ERISA … Continue Reading

Countrywide Settles Subprime-Related ERISA Lawsuit

In a noteworthy subprime-related litigation development, on August 5, 2009, the parties to the Countrywide ERISA action filed a stipulation of settlement (here), together with a request for preliminary court approval. Under the stipulation, the case is to be settled by a payment of $55 million, to be funded entirely by Countrywide’s fiduciary liability insurers. … Continue Reading

Defense Prevails in Tellabs ERISA Stock Drop Case

A frequent securities class action lawsuit accompaniment is a companion ERISA stock drop lawsuit brought on behalf of employee participants in the defendant company’s benefit plan. These ERISA lawsuits have in recent years resulted in a string of impressive settlements, although the plaintiffs have not fared as well in the few cases that have actually … Continue Reading

The New Phase of Credit Crisis Litigation

The credit crisis recently entered a dark new phase, and this new darker phase has also already produced its own distinctive round of lawsuits. Like the ominous economic circumstances, the new litigation phase also seems darker and more threatening.   In the latest issue of InSights (here) — entitled "Has the Credit Crisis Litigation Wave … Continue Reading

Fiduciary Liability: Seventh Circuit Upholds Arthur Anderson’s Insurer’s Coverage Denial

In an April 9, 2008 opinion (here) written by Chief Judge Frank Easterbrook, the Seventh Circuit held that there was no coverage under Arthur Anderson’s fiduciary liability policy for the firm’s settlement of a retiree pension benefits dispute. The dispute arose after the firm’s Enron-related difficulties undercut the firm’s ability to honor retirees’ demands for … Continue Reading

The LaRue Decision: ERISA Liability and Insurance Issues

On February 20, 2008, the United States Supreme Court issued a unanimous holding (here) in LaRue v. DeWolff, Boberg & Associates that ERISA authorizes individual defined contribution plan participants to sue for fiduciary breaches that impair the value of plan assets in the individual’s plan account. This holding could have important implications for future ERISA … Continue Reading