Daniel R. Sutter is an associate in Cohen Milstein's Employee Benefits/ERISA practice. He represents the interests of employees, retirees, plan participants and beneficiaries in ERISA cases across the country. In 2022, Chambers USA named Mr. Sutter an "Associate to Watch" in the area of ERISA Litigation - Mainly Plaintiffs.
Prior to becoming an associate at Cohen Milstein, Mr. Sutter served as a Legal Fellow in the firm’s Employee Benefits practice, where he investigated, developed, and drafted complaints against major financial institutions for ERISA violations. Before that, Mr. Sutter worked at Cohen Milstein as a law clerk (2013-2016) and as an analyst (2010-2016), where he researched and aided in the development potential cases for a number of practices.
Mr. Sutter is currently litigating the following high-profile matters:
- AT&T Pension Benefit Plan Litigation (N.D. Cal.): Cohen Milstein represents participants and beneficiaries in the AT&T Pension Benefit Plan who allege that AT&T failed comply with ERISA’s actuarial equivalence requirements when providing married participants joint and survivor annuities.
- Triad Manufacturing, Inc. ESOP Litigation (N.D. Ill.): Cohen Milstein represents participants and beneficiaries in the Triad Manufacturing ESOP who allege that the ESOP 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. As a result of this decision, Cohen Milstein and co-counsel were recognized in The American Lawyer as “Litigators of the Week.”
- Western Global Airlines ESOP Litigation (D. Del.): Cohen Milstein represents employees in connection challenging the valuation of Western Global Airlines at approximately $1.3 billion based on the sale of 37.5% of the Company to the ESOP for $510 million. The lawsuit seeks to restore substantial losses to the ESOP and to disgorge all ill-gotten gains received by the Neff family.
- New York Life 401(k) Plan Litigation (S.D.N.Y.): Cohen Milstein represents employees in a lawsuit against New York Life which alleges corporate self-dealing and the prohibited transfer of employees’ retirement assets to Defendants at the expense of the retirement savings of New York Life employees and agents.
- Nationwide Savings Plan Litigation (S.D. Oh.): Cohen Milstein represents employees in a lawsuit against Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company for its prohibited transfer of employees’ retirement assets into its general account.
Mr. Sutter was also significantly involved in the following high-profile successes:
- Becker v. Wells Fargo & Co. et al. (D. Minn.): Cohen Milstein recently achieved a $32.5 million settlement prior to class certification and expert discovery. If approved, the settlement will recover 40% of estimated damages.
- BlackRock 401(k) Plan Litigation (N.D.Cal.): Cohen Milstein represented participants in the BlackRock 401(k) Plan, who allege that the Plan fiduciaries violated their duties under ERISA by investing employees’ 401(k) savings almost exclusively in BlackRock proprietary funds and by using BlackRock subsidiaries to broker securities lending deals using the Plan’s assets. In November 2021, the court granted final approval of a $9.65 million settlement.
Mr. Sutter attended George Washington University, graduating with a B.A. in Finance in 2010. He earned his J.D. from the George Washington University Law School in 2016. During law school, he was a member of the Federal Circuit Bar Journal, and he also worked as a law clerk at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Legal Division, over the summer of 2015. He also studied at the London School of Economics.
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