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AARP Foundation Legal Advocacy

Docket: Employee Benefits


Case Name: Rollins v. Dignity Health

Court: U.S. Ct. App. 9th Cir.  Docket: 15-15351

Read Summary and AARP's Amicus Brief (PDF)

Case Result: A pension plan is not eligible for the federal pension law's exemption as a church plan unless the church (or a convention or association of churches) actually established the plan and is, thus, covered by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA).

Case Name: Romero v. Allstate Ins. Co.

Court: U.S. Dist. Ct. Pa.    Docket: 2:01-cv-03894-RB

Read Court Memo

Case Result: In litigation that spans over 15 years, the district court generally cleared Allstate of liability under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA). The long-running case stems from Allstate's 1990s program to convert its insurance agent-employees to independent contractors. The court found that Allstate's elimination of its employee agent force of independent contractors was done for a legitimate, nondiscriminatory reason. The court also found that Allstate did not violate ERISA by amending an early retirement subsidy in its pension plan applicable to agents who later became independent contractors. 

Case Name: Santomenno v. Transamerica

Court: U.S. Ct. App. 9th Cir.  Docket: 16-56418

Read AARP's Amicus Brief (PDF)

Case Issue: Under what circumstances is an insurance service provider a fiduciary?

Case Name: Stapleton v. Advocate Healthcare Network

Court: U.S. Ct. App. 7th Cir.    Docket: 15-1368

Read Summary and AARP's Amicus Brief (PDF)

Case Result: A health-care company cannot treat its pension plan as a church plan exempt from ERISA's requirements because a church did not initially establish the plan.

Case Name: Thole v. U.S. Bank

Court: U.S. Ct. App. 8th Cir.  Docket: 16-1928

Read AARP's Amicus Brief (PDF)

Case Issue: Can plan participants sue their retirement plan administrator for breaching fiduciary duties, even if the participants did not directly lose money because of the breach?

Case Name: Tibble v. Edison International

Court: U.S. Supreme Court    Docket: 13-550

Read Summary and AARP's Amicus Brief (PDF)

Case Result: The Supreme Court unanimously held that trust law requires fiduciaries to conduct regular reviews of their investments. And, under ERISA's statute of limitations the fiduciaries can only be liable for losses occurring within 6 years of the claim.

Case Name: Tibble v. Edison International

Court: U.S. Ct. App. 9th Cir.    Docket: 10-56406, 10-56415

Read AARP's Amicus Brief (PDF)

Case Result: Workers will have another chance to hold Edison plan fiduciaries liable for allegedly excessive fees.

Case Name: Tussey v. ABB

Court: U.S. Ct. App. 8th Cir.    Docket: 15-2792

Read Summary and AARP's Amicus Brief (PDF)

Case Result: The court remanded the case to the district court to reevaluate its method of calculating the damage award for ABB's breach of fiduciary duty.  

Case Name: Tussey v. ABB

Court: U.S. Ct. App. 8th Cir.    Docket: 12-2056, 12-2060, 12-3794, 12-3875

Read AARP's Amicus Brief (PDF)

Case Result: It was a breach of ERISA fiduciary duty for fiduciary's failure to negotiate lower investment fees in a 401(k) plan.

Case Name: Waldbuesser (formerly Grabek) v. Northrop Grumman Corp.

Court: U.S. Dist. Ct. CD Cal.    Docket: 06-cv-06213-R CJC

Read Summary

Case Issue: Did employer violate its ERISA fiduciary duties by permitting participants of its 401(k) Plan and its Employer Stock Plan to be charged excessive plan administration fees?

Case Name: Whitley v. BP Oil

Court: U.S. Ct. App. 5th Cir.     Docket: 15-20282

Read Summary and AARP's Amicus Brief (PDF)

Case Result: The fifth circuit held that, because the actions that employees alleged that BP executives could have taken - disclosing the inside information and freezing trades of BP stock - were not adequate alternatives to continuing to hold the BP stock in question after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill cuased BP's stock price to drop, the complaint should be dismissed.

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Legal Cases

Find cases in which AFL has advocated in courts nationwide for the rights of older persons, and filed AARP’s amicus curiae (“friend of the court”) briefs that help courts decide precedent-setting cases. The cases within the drop-down categories below are in alphabetical order for ease of searching.

Strengthening Law and Policy through
Legal Advocacy

Our legal advocacy initiatives  - conducted by AARP Foundation Litigation (AFL) - reflect nearly 20 years of work in federal and state courts across the country. Through our efforts, we support the Foundation’s four impact areas: Tackling Senior Hunger, Paving the Way to Stable Income, assuring the adequacy and availability of Safe and Afffordable Housing and Reconnecting People to Families and Communities, and ensure that those 50 and older have a voice in the laws and policies that affect their daily lives.