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AARP Foundation Legal Advocacy

Docket: Employee Benefits

    

Case Name: Santomenno v. Transamerica

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

Filed: 4/12/2017

Read AARP's Amicus Brief (PDF)

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

Case Name: Tussey v. ABB

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

Decided: 3/9/2017

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: Advocate Health Care Network v. Stapleton consolidated with Saint Peter's Healthcare System v. Kaplan and Dignity Health v. Rollins

Court: U.S. Supreme Court   Docket: 16-74, 16-86, 16-258

Filed: 2/23/2017

Read AARP's Amicus Brief (PDF)

Case Issue: Does ERISA's church-plan exemption apply as long as a pension plan is maintained by an otherwise-qualifying church-affiliated organization, or does the exemption apply only if, in addition, a church initially established the plan.

Case Name: Market Synergy Grp. v. DOL

Court: U.S. Dist. Ct. Kansas    Docket: 5:16-cv-04083-DDC-KGS

Decided: 2/17/2017

Read AARP's Amicus Brief (PDF)

Case Result: The decision rejected all of the challenges to the Department of Labor's conflict of interest regulation, thereby upholding the rule. 

Case Name: Fletcher v. Convergex

Court: U.S. Ct. App. 2d Cir.   Docket: 16-734

Decided: 2/10/2017

Read AARP's Amicus Brief (PDF)

Case Result: The second circuit held that the plaintiffs have standing to pursue a financial loss to their defined benefit plan.

Case Name: Chamber of Commerce v. DOL and Perez

Court: U.S. Dist. Ct. ND Tex.  Docket: 16-1476, 16-1530, 16-1537 consolidated

Decided: 2/9/2017

Read Summary and AARP's Memorandum (PDF)

Case Result: The decision rejected all of the challenges to the Department of Labor's conflict of interest regulation, thereby upholding the rule.

Case Name: Tibble v. Edison International

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

Decided: 12/16/2016

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: Nat'l Ass'n for Fixed Annunities v. Perez

Court: U.S. Dist. Ct. D.C.  Docket: 1:16-1035  

Decided: 11/4/2016

Read Summary and AARP's Memorandum (PDF)

Case Result: The decision rejected all of the challenges to the Department of Labor's conflict of interest regulation, thereby upholding the rule.

Case Name: Whitley v. BP Oil

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

Decided: 9/26/2016

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.

ase Name: McLean v. State of California

Court: Supreme Court of California   Docket: S221554

Decided: 8/18/2016

Read Summary and AARP's Amicus Brief (PDF)

Case Result: The court held that the statutory policy favoring prompt payment of wages applies to employees who retire, as well as those who quit for other reasons.

Case Name: Rollins v. Dignity Health

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

Decided: 7/26/2016

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: Thole v. U.S. Bank

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

Filed: 7/15/2016

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: Medina v. Catholic Health Initiatives

Court: U.S. Ct. App. 10th Cir.   Docket: 16-1005

Filed: 6/27/2016

Read AARP's Amicus Brief (PDF)

Case Issue: Does CHI's retirement plan meet the requirements for ERISA's exemption for church plans?

Case Name: Osberg v. Foot Locker Retirement Plan

Court: U.S. Ct. App. 2d Cir.    Docket: 15-3602-cv

Filed: 5/24/2016

Read AARP's Amicus Brief (PDF)

Case Issue: Did the employer know the negative impact of its cash balance conversion and intentionally misrepresent the impact of those changes to its employees?

Case Name: Stapleton v. Advocate Healthcare Network

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

Decided: 3/17/2016

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: Gobeille v. Liberty Mut. Ins. Co.

Court: U.S. Supreme Court    Docket: 14-181

Decided: 3/1/2016

Read Summary and AARP's Amicus Brief (PDF)

Case Result: ERISA preempts a Vermont law that requires all health care providers to report information about paid health care claims if the data are from health plans that employers offer to their employees. AARP had argued that the Court should consider such laws as state health care regulation and should use the presumption against preemption to uphold Vermont's law.

Case Name: Montanile v. Bd. of Trustees, National Elevator Industry Health Benefit Plan

Court: U.S. Supreme Court   Docket: 14-723

Decided: 1/20/2016

Read Summary and AARP's Amicus Brief (PDF)

Case Result: When an ERISA-plan participant wholly spends a third-party settlement on non-traceable items, such as food and rent, the plan fiduciary may not bring suit to attach the participant's separate assets under Section 502(a)(3) of ERISA because the plan is not seeking equitable relief under the circumstances of seeking to recover such general funds.

Case Name: Feeko v. Pfizer & Wyeth Special Transaction Severance Plan

Court: U.S. Ct. App. 3d Cir.    Docket: 14-4752

Decided: 1/6/2016

Read Summary and AARP's Amicus Brief (PDF)

Case Result: A divided Third Circuit held that former Pfizer workers transferred to a credit union in connection with Pfizer's acquisition of another pharmaceutical company are not entitled to severance benefit and declined to decide whether unnamed plaintiffs must exhaust administrative remedies in order to be part of a class action under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA).

Case Name: Kaplan v. St. Peter's Healthcare System

Court: U.S. Ct. App. 3d Cir.    Docket: 15-1172

Decided: 12/29/2015

Read Summary and AARP's Amicus Brief (PDF)

Case Result: Workers at a church-affiliated hospital are entitled to full pension protections of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) because only churches may qualify as an exempt "church plan" under ERISA.

Case Name: Whitley v. BP Oil

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

Filed: 10/28/2015

Read Summary and AARP's Amicus Brief (PDF)

Case Issue: What must be plead in an ERISA company stock case to survive a motion to dismiss under the pleading standards established in Fifth Third Bancorp v. Dudenhoeffer?

Case Name: Fontaine v. Metropolitan Life Ins.

Court: U.S. Ct. App. 7th Cir.   Docket: 14-1984 & 14-2302

Decided: 9/4/2015

Read Summary and AARP's Amicus Brief (PDF)

Case Result: ERISA does not preempt an Illinois state law that prohibits the use of discretionary clauses in health and disability insurance policies.

Case Name: Rhode Island Pub. Employees' Reitree Coalition v. Chafee

Court: RI Superior Ct.    Docket: PC12-3166

Decided: 7/8/2015

Case Issue: A Rhode Island Superior Court judge approved a proposed class-action settlement, finding that the proposed settlement was fair, reasonable, and adequate.

Case Name: Byrne v. State of Montana

Court: Montana 1st Judicial Dist.   Docket: ADV-2013-738

Decided: 6/30/2015

Read Summary

Case Result: The State is permanently enjoined from cutting teachers guaranteed annual pension benefits. Court also held that teachers are contractually entitled to a 1.5% increase annually.

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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.