During 2015 and 2016, court dockets across the nation had an uptick in ERISA lawsuits seeking class action treatment for participants who accuse their plan sponsors and administrators of breaching their fiduciary duties.
This recent wave of ERISA litigation has targeted three main industries:
- private universities that allegedly included too many investment options in their retirement plans,
- religiously affiliated organizations that allegedly underfunded their pension plans, and
- financial management institutions that allegedly filled their plans with high-cost, poorly performing in-house funds.
Four law firms are leading the way in challenging how certain religiously affiliated hospitals administer their employees’ pension plans. In some of the cases, the firms have joined forces to litigate against the institutions, while in others, the firms have battled to be lead counsel. According to the lawsuits, the hospitals are accused of massively underfunding their pension plans by improperly relying on an ERISA exemption for church plans.
With six offices in the U.S., Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC is representing plaintiffs in 12 new lawsuits. Ten of these class actions are against non-profit hospitals claiming that ERISA’s funding requirements don’t apply to them. Cohen Milstein has recently filed lawsuits against Mercy Health, OSF Healthcare Systems and St. Joseph’s Hospital & Medical Center, among others.
The full article can be read here.