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 retired before age 65 and/or elected to receive their pension benefit in the form of a Joint and Survivor Annuity. 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
Three AT&T Plan participants filed a Complaint in the matter of Eliason v. AT&T Inc., Case No. 3:19-cv-06232 on October 1, 2019 in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California. These three plaintiffs in Eliason v. AT&T Inc. had received lump sum pensions from the AT&T Plan (the “Lump Sum Plaintiffs”). On December 2, 2019, Defendants filed a Motion to Dismiss or, in the alternative, Transfer Venue to the Northern District of Texas. The Lump Sum Plaintiffs filed an Amended Complaint on December 23, 2019. In response to the Amended Complaint, Defendants filed another Motion to Dismiss or, in the alternative, Transfer Venue. The hearing on this motion was held on May 18, 2020 before Magistrate Judge Sallie Kim. After the oral argument, the Court allowed for jurisdictional discovery and additional briefing to be submitted on the question of whether the Lump Sum Plaintiffs had standing to bring suit. Following discovery, Judge Kim on August 24, 2020 held a second hearing on the pending motion. On September 28, 2020, Judge Kim issued an order granting Defendants’ Motion to Dismiss the Amended Complaint and ruling the Lump Sum Plaintiffs did not have standing to challenge AT&T’s conduct.
Plaintiffs’ counsel filed the Complaint pending in Scott v. AT&T Inc. et al., on October 12, 2020 in the United States District Court of the Northern District of California. Scott v. AT&T Inc. et al., does not challenge lump sum calculations that were the subject of Judge Kim’s order. The case is pending before District Judge James Donato. Plaintiffs’ are currently waiting for Defendants to answer or otherwise respond to the Complaint by December 4, 2020.
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