Welcome to the OSF Health Settlement webpage. This webpage is designed to keep class members informed regarding the class action settlement of Smith v. OSF HealthCare System, United States District Court for the Southern District of Illinois, Case No. 16-467.
Did You Receive a Class Notice?
If you received a class notice, either you or someone in your family is a vested or non-vested participant or beneficiary of the OSF Plans as of April 27, 2016, the date Plaintiffs first filed their Complaint against Defendants. The Court directed that a Class Notice be sent to you because, as a potential member of the Settlement Class, you have a right to know about the proposed Settlement with Defendants before the Court decides whether to grant final approval of the Settlement at a “Fairness Hearing.”
The purpose of the Class Notice explains the Action, the Settlement, and your legal rights and to inform you of the Fairness Hearing to be held by the Court to consider the fairness, reasonableness and adequacy of the proposed Settlement
On April 27, 2016, Plaintiff Sheila Smith filed a class action Complaint in this Court against OSF HealthCare System and various other defendants (collectively, the “Defendants”) alleging violations of ERISA and improper treatment of the Plans as “church plans” resulting in, among other things, placing the pensions of participants and beneficiaries at risk by underfunding the Plans. In May 2016 and shortly afterward, several other putative class action complaints that were filed were consolidated into the Fourth Amended Class Action Complaint, otherwise known as the “operative” complaint.
The operative Complaint is the Fourth Amended Class Action Complaint and it alleges that the Defendants denied ERISA protections to the participants and beneficiaries of the OSF Plans by incorrectly claiming that the OSF Plans qualify as ERISA-exempt “church plans.” In short, Plaintiffs allege that the Defendants failed to operate the OSF Plans in accordance with ERISA and breached their fiduciary duties to the Plaintiffs by, among other things, failing to send participants proper notices and failing to make payment of required contributions to the Master Trust, leaving the OSF Plans severely underfunded and creating a substantial risk that the OSF Plans will be unable to pay the accrued pension benefits to which Plaintiffs and the other Class members are entitled.
On July 30, 2020, the Parties filed a notice of Settlement to inform the Court that they had reached agreement. The Court granted preliminary approval of the settlement on October 7, 2020.
The Court has scheduled a Fairness Hearing for January 15, 2021 to assess whether or not to grant final approval of the settlement.
Why Is This Case a Class Action?
In a class action, one or more plaintiffs, called “named plaintiffs,” sue on behalf of people who have similar claims. All of the individuals on whose behalf the Named Plaintiffs in this Action are suing are the “Settlement Class Members.”
You are a member of the Settlement Class if you are a vested or non-vested participant or beneficiary of the OSF Plans as of April 27, 2016.
Settlement Class Members do not need to do anything with respect to the Settlement in this Action. Defendants will transfer twenty-five million dollars ($25,000,000) in cash contributions into the Master Trust from fiscal year 2021 to fiscal year 2025, at a rate of $5 million per year. Defendants’ cash contribution requirement ends once the amounts deposited into the Master Trust pursuant to this Settlement reach $25 million.
The Fee Award approved by the Court will be separately paid to Class Counsel by Defendants.
The Fairness Hearing will be held at 1:30 p.m. on January 15, 2021 before the Honorable Staci M. Yandle in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Illinois, 301 West Main Street, Benton, IL 62812.
Among other things, the purpose of the Fairness Hearing is to determine whether the Settlement Agreement is fair, reasonable, and adequate and should be granted final approved by the Court.
For More Information, Please Contact
If you have any questions regarding the Settlement, please direct them to Class Counsel at 1 (888) 710-4537 or via e-mail at OSFsettlement@kellerrohrback.com.
Karen Handorf - firstname.lastname@example.org
Julie Selesnick - email@example.com
PLLC, 1100 New York Avenue, N.W., Suite 500
Washington, D.C. 20005
Laura R. Gerber
Keller Rohrback L.L.P., 1201 Third Avenue, Suite 3200,
Seattle, WA 98101-3052
Please do not contact the Court. The Court personnel will not be able to answer your questions.