Overview

Thompson Hine handles the full range of ERISA litigation matters, from defending pre-litigation Department of Labor (DOL) enforcement actions involving plan fiduciaries and service providers and IRS audits of plans, to trial of fiduciary duty claims. Our experienced group includes former DOL and IRS lawyers who uniquely situated to understand the enforcement perspectives of both agencies.

Our litigation team includes lawyers who began their careers as ERISA litigation specialists, lawyers who have been ERISA fiduciaries, and lawyers who began as general litigators and subsequently developed the experience to function exclusively and efficiently as ERISA litigators.

Pension and welfare benefit plans, plan sponsors, fiduciaries and other plan service providers turn to us for defense in a range of litigation matters involving fiduciary breaches, employer stock funds, cash balance plans, ERISA preemption, plan termination and reversion, benefit claims and retiree health benefit issues.

With approximately 25 professionals who concentrate on both the tax and labor sides of ERISA, our ERISA litigation team is part of one of the largest and most sophisticated employee benefit groups in the country. When it most benefits our clients, we can leverage the experience and advice of other attorneys from our firm who focus on related issues such as securities law, banking and trust law, employment law and bankruptcy law.

Experience
Representative Experience

Employer Stock and 401(k) Cases

  • Wright v. Oregon Metallurgical Corp., 360 F.3d 1090 (9th Cir. 2004)
  • Tatum v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., 294 F. Supp. 2d 776 (M.D.N.C 2003), rev’d, 392 F.3d 636 (4th Cir. 2004), on remand, 2006 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 7239 (M.D.N.C. 2006)
  • In re Broadwing, Inc. ERISA Litig., 39 Employee Benefits Cas. (BNA) 1735 (S.D. Ohio 2006)

Fiduciary Breach Litigation

  • Ramsey v. Formica Corp., 398 F.3d 421 (6th Cir. 2005), cert. denied, 126 S. Ct. 340 (2005), on remand, 2006 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 966 (S.D. Ohio 2006)
  • DOL v. Plan Benefit Services, Inc., No. 07-11474 (D. Mass. 2007)
  • Nat’l Air Traffic Controllers As’n v. Dental Plans, Inc., 407 F. Supp. 2d 1 (D.D.C. 2005)
  • DOL v. SBWA Local 125 Health Plan, No. 9:02-cv-80945 (S.D. Fla. 2002)
  • Friedrichsen v. Massillon-Cleveland-Akron Sign Co., 2007 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 21471 (N.D. Ohio 2007)
  • Houck v. Bd. of Trustees IUNHCAMP, No. 03-2494-R (C.D. Cal. 2003)
  • IUNHCAMP Trustees v. HealthMarket, Inc. & American Travelers Assurance Co., 1:03-CV-1376 (N.D. Ga. 2003)
  • Louisville Bar Association v. Thacker, et al, Civil Action No. 3:02-CV-260-H (W.D. Ky. 2002)
  • Waite v. IDG 401(k), No. 01-CV-0297 (N.D. Ga. 2001)
  • In re Larry Marshall Engineering Corp., No. 98-50440 (Bankr. N.D. Cal.)
  • In re TMCI Electronics, Inc., No. 98-60153 (Bankr. N.D. Cal.)
  • DOL v. Hyde, CV-98-3019 (N.D. Cal. 1998)
  • Reich v. Goldstein, 839 F. Supp. 1068 (S.D.N.Y. 1993)
  • Kentucky Laborers Dist. Council Health & Welfare Trust Fund v. Hill & Knowlton, 24 F. Supp. 2d 755 (W.D. Ky. 1998)
  • New Orleans Employers Intern. Longshoremen's Ass'n, AFL-CIO Pension Fund v. Mercer In-vestment Consultants, 635 F.Supp.2d 1351, 2009 WL 2156907, (NO. 1:06-CV-2822-ODE), (N.D.Ga., 2009)
  • Dramse v Delta Family-Care Disability & Survivorship Plan, 269 Fed. Appx. 470, 2008 U.S. App. LEXIS 5412, 44 Employee Benefits Cas (BNA) 1331 (5th Cir., 2008)
  • Smith v. Delta Airlines, Inc., 215 Fed.Appx. 848, 2007 WL 186509, 40 Employee Benefits Cas. 1740, (NO. 06-13915), (C.A.11 (Ga.), 2007)
  • Fontaine v. Guth, Not Reported in F.Supp.2d, 2004 WL 3246722, (NO. CIV.A. 3:02-CV-67-JT), (N.D.Ga., 2004)

Retiree Health Litigation

  • Hardy v. Midland Enterprises, Inc., 2003 U.S. App. LEXIS 8426 (6th Cir. 2003)
  • Bender v. Newell Window Furnishings, Inc., 182 L.R.R.M. 3012 (W.D. Mich. 2007)
  • Noe v. PolyOne Corp., 2006 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 92098 (W.D. Ky. 2006)

ERISA Preemption Litigation

  • Tolton v. American Biodyne, 48 F.3d 937 (6th Cir. 1995)
  • ANB Bankcorp v. Equitable Life Assur. Soc’y, 86 F. Supp. 2d 1113 (N.D. Okla. 2000)
  • ETI v. Equitable Life Assur. Soc’y, No. 2001-01085 (D.C. Okla. 2001)

Plan Termination and Reversion Litigation

  • Jensen v. Moore Wallace N. Am., Inc., 41 Employee Benefits Cas. (BNA) 2406 (6th Cir. 2007)
  • Varhola v. Doe, 820 F.2d 809 (6th Cir. 1987)
  • Clevenger v. Dillard’s, Inc., 2007 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 90586 (S.D. Ohio 2007)
  • Shepherd v. Babcock & Wilcox of Ohio, 2000 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 6349 (S.D. Ohio 2000)

Benefits Claims Litigation

  • Hensley v. Parker-Hannifin Corp., 2006 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 7433 (E.D. Tenn. 2006)
  • Nichols v. UNUM Life Ins. Co., 2005 U.S Dist. LEXIS 37017 (S.D Ohio 2005), aff’d, 2006 U.S. App. LEXIS 21505 (6th Cir 2006)
  • Brandt v. Fleet Capital Corp. (In re TMCI Elec.), 279 B.R. 552 (N.D. Cal. 2000)
  • Metro. Life Ins. Co. v. Cronenwett, 162 F. Supp. 2d 889 (S.D. Ohio 2001)
  • Steers v. UNUM Life Ins. Co, 2006 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 35397 (S.D. Ohio 2006)
  • Slater v. Newell Rubbermaid, Inc., 2005 WL 1651970 (M.D. Pa. 2005)
  • Washburn v. UNUM Life Ins. Co., 43 F. Supp. 2d 848 (S.D. Ohio 1998), aff’d, 2000 U.S. App. LEXIS 6481 (6th Cir. 2000)
  • DeBloise v. Kemper, No. 1:00CV2144 (D.D.C. 2000)
  • In re Harper, No. 98-2847 (D.D.C. 1998)
  • Ward v. Retirement Bd. of Bert Bell/Pete Rozelle NFL Player Retirement Plan, --- F.3d ----, 2011 WL 2462848, (NO. 11-10320), (C.A.11 (Ga.), 2011)
  • Morningred v. Delta Family-Care & Survivorship Plan, --- F.Supp.2d ----, 2011 WL 2580300, (NO. CIV.A. 10-272 MPT), (D.Del., 2011)
  • Grant v. Bert Bell/Pete Rozelle NFL Player Retirement Plan, Slip Copy, 2010 WL 3749197, (NO. 109-CV-1848-RWS), (N.D.Ga., 2010)
  • Gipson v. Administrative Committee Of Delta Air Lines, Inc., 350 Fed.Appx. 389, 2009 WL 3437490, (NO. 09-11748), (C.A.11 (Ga.), 2009)
  • Mehen v. Delta Airlines, Inc., 297 Fed.Appx. 621, 2008 WL 4706241, (NO. 06-16388), (C.A.9 (Ariz.), 2008)
  • Townsend v. Delta Family-Care Disability and Survivorship Plan, 544 F.Supp.2d 1352, 2008 WL 533805, N.D.Ga., February 26, 2008 (NO. 1:06-CV-2040-JEC), aff'd 295 Fed.Appx. 971, 2008 WL 4507571, (NO. 08-11340), (C.A.11 (Ga.), 2008)
  • Smith v. Delta Airlines, Inc., 215 Fed.Appx. 848, 2007 WL 186509, 40 Employee Benefits Cas. 1740, (NO. 06-13915), (C.A.11 (Ga.), 2007)
  • Dramse v Delta Family-Care Disability & Survivorship Plan, 269 Fed. Appx. 470, 2008 U.S. App. LEXIS 5412, 44 Employee Benefits Cas (BNA) 1331 (5th Cir., 2008)
  • Hanna v. Delta Family-Care Disability and Survivorship Plan, Not Reported in F.Supp.2d, 2006 WL 1885181, (NO. 3:04CV1333 J12TEM), (M.D.Fla., 2006)
  • Freitas v. Delta Family-Care Disability and Survivorship Plan, Not Reported in F.Supp.2d, 2006 WL 1320932, (NO. CIV-S-05-994DFLPAN), (E.D.Cal., 2006)
  • Byrom v. Delta Family Care--Disability and Survivorship Plan, 343 F.Supp.2d 1163, 2004 WL 2525205, (NO. CIV.A.1:03-CV-1685-J), (N.D.Ga., 2004)
  • Heffner v. Delta Air Lines, Inc., Not Reported in F.Supp.2d, 2004 WL 1688515, (NO. 2:02CV1378 DS), (D.Utah, 2004)
  • Fontaine v. Guth, Not Reported in F.Supp.2d, 2004 WL 3246722, (NO. CIV.A. 3:02-CV-67-JT), (N.D.Ga., 2004)

Multi-Employer Plan Litigation

  • Bd. Trustees IBEW Local 1919 Pension Fund v. Davey Tree Expert Co., No. 2:07-cv-00261-DSC (W.D. Pa. 2007)
  • Int’l Painters & Allied Trades Indus. Pension Fund v. The Painting Co., No. 1:07-cv-01070 (D.D.C. 2007)
  • John Flynn, et al. v. Continental Masonry Corporation, No. 1:00CV02868 (D.D.C. 2001)
  • New Orleans Employers Intern. Longshoremen's Ass'n, AFL-CIO Pension Fund v. Mercer In-vestment Consultants, 635 F.Supp.2d 1351, 2009 WL 2156907, (NO. 1:06-CV-2822-ODE), (N.D.Ga., 2009)