SUMMARY OF THE LAWSUIT
This lawsuit, Scott v. AT&T Inc., filed on October 12, 2020, is brought on behalf of a class of participants and beneficiaries in the AT&T Pension Benefit Plan (the “AT&T Plan”). Plaintiffs allege that Defendants AT&T Inc. and AT&T Services violated the federal Employee Retirement Income Security Act (“ERISA”). Through these violations, Plaintiffs allege that they were deprived of accrued, vested pension benefits when they receive their pension benefit in the form of a Joint and Survivor Annuity, the default form of benefit for married participants. This has resulted in AT&T Plan participants and beneficiaries receiving less than the actuarial equivalent of their vested accrued benefit, contrary to ERISA’s requirements. This lawsuit seeks to recover amounts due to members of the class, and to amend the AT&T Plan to fully comply with protections afforded by ERISA to defined benefit pension plan participants and beneficiaries.
Scott v. AT&T Inc. et al does not challenge AT&T’s lump sum calculations. Scott v. AT&T Inc. is distinct from a prior lawsuit, Eliason v. AT&T, Inc., which asserted similar claims involving the AT&T Plan’s lump sum computations. On September 28, 2020, Magistrate Judge Sallie Kim dismissed Eliason v. AT&T Inc. on procedural grounds.
CLASS ACTION ALLEGATIONS
This lawsuit is brought on behalf of all participants who are in the AT&T Plan and their beneficiaries. Excluded from the Class are Defendants and members of their immediate families or any of their heirs, successors, or assigns.
STATUS OF THE LITIGATION
Plaintiffs’ counsel initiated Scott v. AT&T Inc. et al., on October 12, 2020 in the United States District Court of the Northern District of California. The case was assigned to District Judge James Donato. On January 1, 2021, Plaintiffs amended their complaint and narrowed their dispute to the Joint and Survivor Annuity provided by the AT&T Plan.
Defendants moved to transfer the case to Texas or dismiss the case outright. On April 8, 2021, after reviewing the parties’ written and oral argument, Judge Donato denied Defendants’ motions in their entirety and permitted the case to proceed in California.
The parties are currently engaging in discovery of facts the parties will use to support their respective positions. Plaintiffs intend to move to have the Court certify the case as a class action after the parties complete discovery.
WHOM TO CONTACT FOR MORE INFORMATION
If you are a member of the proposed class or you have information which might assist us in the prosecution of these allegations, please contact one of the following persons:
Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC
1100 New York Avenue, N.W., Suite 500
Washington, D.C. 20005
Telephone: 888-240-0775 (Toll Free) or 202-408-4600