Sunshine, Lollipops, and Rainbows ERISA and Employment Musings

SCOTUS – ERISA Standing for DB Plan Participants

June 19, 2020
A Supreme Court opinion issued by Justice Kavanaugh on June 1, 2020 will likely create significant impediments for suits arising from fiduciary mismanagement of defined benefit plans. The 5-4 decision was split along ideological lines and resolved a 7-year-old case from the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals. Kavanaugh’s opinion, in which Chief Justice Roberts and Justices Alito, Gorsuch, and Thomas joined, affirmed the Eighth Circuit’s dismissal of the case for lack of Article III standing. The Court held that participants in a defined benefits plan must have lost or be at a significant risk of losing money due to plan mismanagement to have standing. In  U.S. Bank v. Thole, the Court held that the plaintiffs had “no concrete stake in the lawsuit” because “win or lose, they would still receive the exact same monthly benefits they are already entitled to receive.” Read more

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June 6, 2020
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