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ERISA Litigation

ERISA Litigation Experience

Express Scripts v. Eden Surgical Center, 50 Employee Benefits Cases 1334 (E.D. Mo. Nov. 18, 2010)
Thanks to a strategy developed by our ERISA Litigation Group, we defeated an ERISA claim by a health care provider in California who had made a cottage industry out of suing employers’ health plans after providing medical treatment to their employees. Not satisfied with the amount the plans paid for the procedures, this provider routinely brought ERISA claims challenging how those amounts were established. Rather than waiting for the provider to sue, we filed a declaratory judgment action in St. Louis, where our client is located. Ultimately, the court ruled in our favor on novel jurisdictional issues, and the provider agreed to drop its challenge.

Maloney v. Ameristar Casinos, (W.D. Mo. March 9, 2010)
Spearheading Spencer Fane’s efforts, members of the ERISA Litigation Group successfully defended Ameristar Casinos in a lawsuit challenging the denial of COBRA coverage to participants in Ameristar’s health plan. The court’s order granting our motion to dismiss established new, employer-friendly precedent in the process.

Geiler v. Jones, 2006 Westlaw 407683 (D. Neb. Feb. 6, 2006)
Spencer Fane’s ERISA Litigation Group secured a major victory in a case arising from the Enron bankruptcy. After Enron allegedly failed to transfer the assets necessary to fund the VEBA of a former subsidiary, a group of participants in the new plan—along with the new plan’s trustee and the new plan sponsor’s administrative committee—sued the Enron plan’s trustee to compel a transfer of the disputed VEBA assets. Spencer Fane argued that none of the plaintiffs had standing to sue fiduciaries of the Enron plan, and the federal district court dismissed all of the claims.

Register v. Honeywell Federal, 397 F.3d 1130 (8th Cir. 2005)
Spencer Fane attorneys defended Honeywell against claims by former employees alleging that their employment was terminated in violation of ERISA Section 510. After obtaining summary judgment on these claims from the district court, we successfully defended our victory before the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Weyerhaeuser et al. v. MFS Retirement Services, et al., (E.D. Wash. 2004)
Members of our ERISA Litigation Group prevailed on common-law negligence and misrepresentation claims we filed on behalf of a plan sponsor and its fiduciaries against two 401(k) plan service providers. Adopting our arguments that ERISA did not preempt these claims, the court denied defendants’ motions to dismiss, leading to a favorable settlement for this Fortune 100 client.

In re Sprint Corp. ERISA Litigation, 33 Employee Benefits Cases 2196 (D. Kan. 2004)
We served as local counsel representing Sprint in this putative class action involving fiduciary claims related to the decision to allow participants in three 401(k) plans to invest plan assets in employer stock.

Aks v. United Missouri Bank, 309 F. Supp. 2d 1275 (D. Kan. 2004)
Defending the directed trustee of a retirement plan against claims of negligence, breach of fiduciary duty, and misrepresentation, Group attorneys successfully removed the action to federal court and then prevailed on a motion to dismiss.

In re Wire Rope Corp. of America, Inc., 287 B.R. 771 (Bankr. W.D. Mo. 2002)
Spencer Fane represented a Chapter 11 debtor-employer which sought to terminate its obligations under its pension plans pursuant to ERISA’s “distress termination” provisions. The Bankruptcy Court approved our plan, allowing the employer to emerge from the bankruptcy proceedings as a going concern.

 

Express Scripts v. Eden Surgical Center

50 Employee Benefits Cases 1334 (E.D. Mo. Nov. 18, 2010)

Thanks to a strategy developed by our ERISA Litigation Group, we defeated an ERISA claim by a health care provider in California who had made a cottage industry out of suing employers’ health plans after providing medical treatment to their employees. Not satisfied with the amount the plans paid for the procedures, this provider routinely brought ERISA claims challenging how those amounts were established. Rather than waiting for the provider to sue, we filed a declaratory judgment action in St. Louis, where our client is located. Ultimately, the court ruled in our favor on novel jurisdictional issues, and the provider agreed to drop its challenge.