Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation Blog

The View from Proskauer on Developments in the World of Employee Benefits, Executive Compensation & ERISA Litigation

Neil Shah

Neil Shah

Associate

Neil V. Shah is an associate in the Labor & Employment Law Department and a member of the Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation Group, where he focuses on ERISA litigation.

Neil represents plan sponsors, trustees, and other fiduciaries in ERISA class actions for breach of fiduciary duty arising out of investment losses and prohibited transactions, as well as Department of Labor and other governmental and internal investigations. Neil also counsels both employers and multiemployer funds regarding the assessment and collection of delinquent contributions and withdrawal liability.

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Anti-Assignment Provision Bars Surgery Center’s $3.3 Million ERISA Benefits Claims

A federal district court in California held that the ILWU-PMA Welfare Benefit Plan’s anti-assignment provision barred Brand Tarzana Surgical Institute’s claim for benefits and thus dismissed the Institute’s claim for benefits.  In so holding, the court rejected the Institute’s argument that the plan waived the right to assert the anti-assignment provision as a defense by … Continue Reading

On Remand, District Court Rules for the Fiduciaries in Tatum v. R.J. Reynolds

The R.J. Reynolds defendants have again prevailed against allegations that they breached their fiduciary duties by divesting the RJR 401(k) plan of funds invested in Nabisco stock.  Following remand by the Fourth Circuit, the district court held that a hypothetical fiduciary “would” have divested the plan of the Nabisco investments in the same time and … Continue Reading

Eighth Circuit Holds Service Provider Is Not A Plan Fiduciary In Excessive Fee Case

Continuing a trend in other Circuits, the Eighth Circuit held that a service provider that was contracted to provide the 401(k) plan’s investment options does not act as an ERISA fiduciary when, consistent with the terms of a contract it negotiated at arms’ length, it passes through operating expenses to participants.  The Court also rejected the plan’s … Continue Reading

Defined Benefit Plan Participant’s Action Mooted by ERISA Plan’s Improved Financial Condition

A federal district court in Minnesota dismissed a plan participant’s allegations that plan fiduciaries mismanaged a defined benefit plan — and thus caused it to be underfunded — because the plan’s financial condition improved during the course of the litigation.  As reported here, the court previously held that these allegations were sufficient to establish that … Continue Reading

Court Awards $11.7M in Attorneys’ Fees In Fund Mapping Case

The court in Tussey v. ABB Inc., No. 2:06-cv-04305 (W.D. Mo. Dec. 9, 2015), a long-running suit alleging that ABB failed to monitor recordkeeping fees and improperly mapped participants’ investments (previously reported on here), awarded class counsel $11.7 million in attorneys’ fees and affirmed its earlier award of $2.28 million in costs and class representative … Continue Reading

DOL Proposes to Bring ERISA Disability Denials in Line with the Affordable Care Act

On November 18, 2015, the Department of Labor (the “Department”) published a notice of Proposed Rulemaking at 80 Fed. Reg. 222 (the “Proposed Rule”) to amend ERISA’s claims procedures (29 C.F.R. 2560.503-1) as they apply to claims for disability benefits.  One of the purposes of the Proposed Rule is to make ERISA’s claims procedures for … Continue Reading

Sixth Circuit Enforces Subrogation Clause

The Sixth Circuit rejected a participant’s argument that the plan’s subrogation provision was not enforceable because it was only in the plan’s summary plan description, and not in the trust agreement that the participant argued was the operative plan document.  The Court determined that the subrogation provision was contained within a document that served as … Continue Reading

No Damages Awarded for ERISA Plan Fund Mapping Claims

Mapping in a 401(k) plan occurs when an investment option is removed and the participant’s investment in that option is transferred to a different investment option (absent direction from the participant).  On remand from the Eighth Circuit, the district court in Tussey v. ABB Inc., No. 2:06-cv-04305 (W.D. Mo. July 9, 2015), held that plan … Continue Reading

District Court Rules Privately-Held Stock Plan Fiduciary May Have Affirmative Duty To Disclose

A federal district court in Georgia held that plan fiduciaries of a closely-held company’s single stock ERISA fund may have a duty to disclose material, non-public information concerning the value of the company’s shares when the information could have a potentially extreme negative effect on a plan participant.  The plaintiffs were participants in defendant Stiefel … Continue Reading
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