Beacon/Madoff ERISA Litigation
In re Beacon Association Litigation (S.D.N.Y.): Cohen Milstein represented the trustees and participants of ERISA-covered employee benefit plans whose assets were invested by Beacon Associates LLC I and Beacon Associates LLC II (the “Feeder Funds”) in and lost money by investment the investment schemes of Bernard L. Madoff, Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities, LLC.
BlackRock 401(k) Retirement Plan Litigation
BlackRock 401(k) Litigation(N.D. Cal.): Cohen Milstein successfully settled this certified class action in which plaintiffs alleged that the BlackRock 401(k) plan administrators engaged in corporate self-dealing—restricting plan options to BlackRock’s own proprietary funds, and in many cases failing to provide the lowest cost versions of those funds.
Dignity Health Church Plan Litigation
Dignity Health Church Plan Litigation (N.D. Cal.): Cohen Milstein was co-counsel to a class of defined benefit participants, which alleged that Dignity Health was improperly claiming that its pension plans were exempt from ERISA’s protections because they are “church plans,” and as a result underfunded its plans by over $1.2 billion. In June 2017, the Supreme Court reversed previous rulings on consolidated church plan cases and ordered plaintiffs, in this case, to file an amended complaint. On July 15, 2022, the court granted final approval of a $100 million settlement.
ERISA Industry Committee v. Tobias Read
ERISA Industry Committee v. Tobias Read (D. Or.) Cohen Milstein represented the ERISA Industry Committee (ERIC) in a lawsuit against the Oregon Retirement Savings Board (ORSB). The lawsuit, filed in 2017, and dismissed by ERIC claimed that the process for exempting large employers from OregonSaves violated the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA).
T. Rowe Price 401(k) Litigation
T. Rowe Price 401(k) Litigation (D. Md.): On July 6, 2022 the Court granted final approval of the $7 million settlement in this certified ERISA class action. Participants in the T. Rowe Price 401(k) plan alleged that plan fiduciaries violated their duties under ERISA causing the participants to pay millions of dollars in illicit fees by offering only T. Rowe Price’s own in-house investment funds in the 401(k) plan, failed to offer the lowest cost versions of those funds, and failed to consider funds from other companies that offered lower fees or better performance.
Triad Manufacturing, Inc. ESOP Litigation
Triad Manufacturing, Inc. ESOP Litigation (N.D. Ill.): Cohen Milstein represented participants and beneficiaries in the Triad Manufacturing ESOP who alleged that the ESOP’s trustees breached their fiduciary duties in connection with the sale of Triad Manufacturing to the ESOP. In September 2021, the Seventh Circuit, in a precedent-setting decision, cited an exception to the Federal Arbitration Act that permits a court to overrule an arbitration agreement if it blocks a party from being able to bring claims under federal law. On August 23, 2023, the court granted final approval of a $14.8 million settlement and granted class certification.
Wells Fargo 401(k) Litigation
Becker v. Wells Fargo & Co. et al. (D. Minn.): Cohen Milstein achieved a $32.5 million settlement prior to class certification and expert discovery. The lawsuit alleged that Wells Fargo and its affiliates violated numerous provisions of ERISA by breaching their fiduciary duties and engaging in self-dealing transactions prohibited under ERISA.
World Travel ESOP Litigation
World Travel ESOP Litigation (E.D. Pa.): Cohen Milstein represents a putative class of employee stock option plan (ESOP) participants and beneficiaries who allege that the founders of World Travel and the ESOP trustees created the ESOP and then sold 100% of the employees World Travel stock to the ESOP at an above-market price, saddling it with over $200 million in debt.