ERISA Litigation

Jackson Walker attorneys have years of experience handling high stakes, multi-million and billion dollar employee benefit plans and ERISA litigation. Our litigation and employment attorneys work closely with our employee benefits and executive compensation attorneys to bring in-depth knowledge of employee benefits law together with attorneys who know both how to try cases and effective strategies for administration of benefit plans considering litigation risks.

Both public and private companies have turned to Jackson Walker to represent them in a variety of cases concerning employee benefits, including disputes about stock options and other equity compensation, the interpretation of non-qualified deferred compensation plans, entitlement to disability and health benefits, and breaches of fiduciary duty concerning the administration of ERISA plans, including claims associated with administrative fees. We also regularly counsel plan administrators analyzing benefit claims and appeals and in denial of benefit claims.

  • ERISA class action litigation: Acted as lead or co-counsel for employers, plans and other defendants in multiple ERISA class action lawsuits filed in Texas alleging violations of prohibited transaction rules and breaches of fiduciary duties
  • Casey v. AT&T Corp. (N.D. Tex. 2004). Represented AT&T in a case involving an employee’s claim for short-term disability plan benefits under ERISA Section 502(a)(1)(B) and through various common law claims. The Court granted AT&T’s motion for summary judgment, accepting AT&T’s argument that the denial of benefits was not arbitrary and capricious and that the common law claims were preempted
  • Blum v. Spectrum Restaurant Group, Inc., 261 F. Supp. 697 (E.D. Tex. (2003), aff’d, 140 Fed. Appx. 556 (5th Cir. 2005). Represented SRG in claim for one million dollars in life insurance benefits. Plaintiff asserted claim for benefits under ERISA Section 502(a)(1)(B), estoppel, and waiver grounds, as well as breach of fiduciary duty claims under Sections 502(a)(2) and 502(a)(3). The Court first dismissed the ERISA-based breach of fiduciary duty and state law claims and then granted SRG’s motion for summary judgment on remaining claims
  • Handled litigation issues related to executive compensation program and related tax disputes for large employer
  • Represented publicly traded companies’ long-term disability plans regarding participant claims and appeals
  • Defended action brought by the Department of Labor against plan service providers claiming breach of fiduciary duty and excessive fees under ERISA.
  • Represented publicly traded companies with respect to pro se litigation on health benefits plan

August 7, 2020
Mentions

Judge Rules for American Airlines in ERISA Dispute | Pensions & Investments

A U.S. District Court Judge in Fort Worth, Texas has ruled in favor of American Airlines Inc., rejecting claims by participants in a 401(k) plan that the company’s fiduciaries violated their duties under ERISA.

April 3, 2019
Insights

ERISA Alert: An Update on Health and Welfare and Retirement Plans

Greta Cowart presents an update on employee benefits, including the transmission and storage of health plan data, legal challenges to the Affordable Care Act, and recent legislation related to retirement plans.

March 28, 2019
Newsletters

Labor & Employment Dispatch: March 2019

The March 2019 edition features insights on two decisions in the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, a long-awaited revision to the Fair Labor Standards Act related to salary and compensation thresholds, and an interim guidance regarding Section 4960 of the Internal Revenue Code.

March 1, 2019
Insights

A Deeper Look at Tax Reform’s Evolving New Game Plan for Tax-Exempt Organizations

In the Bloomberg BNA Tax Management Compensation Planning Journal, Greta E. Cowart co-authored an article on Notice 2019-09 regarding Section 4960 of the Internal Revenue Code.

January 10, 2019
Attorney News

Jackson Walker’s Dallas Office Welcomes Greta Cowart and Kal Grant to ERISA and Wealth Planning Groups

Jackson Walker is pleased to announce the addition of Greta Cowart and Kal Grant as partners in the Dallas office.

April 27, 2018
Mentions

Jackson Walker Attorneys Defend American Airlines Federal Credit Union in ERISA Suit

Jackson Walker represents American Airlines Federal Credit Union (AAFCU) in a potential class action filed with the Northern District of Texas.

November 6, 2017
Attorney News

Jonathan Neerman Speaks on ERISA Litigation at SouthWest Benefits Association Annual Compliance Conference

Jackson Walker partner Jonathan Neerman shared his ERISA litigation experience with attendees at the SouthWest Benefits Association’s 28th Annual Benefits Compliance Conference last week in Dallas.

September 5, 2017
Insights

IRS Provides for Expedited Loans and Hardship Distributions from Retirement Plans

The IRS announced last week that it will allow victims of Hurricane Harvey and their families to more easily access assets held in employer-sponsored retirement plans.

August 15, 2017
Spotlight

BTI Lists Jackson Walker in Report on Firms with the Best Collaboration

Jackson Walker has been listed among firms with Leading Collaboration in a new report by BTI Consulting Group.

August 15, 2017
Attorney News

Best Lawyers in America Recognizes 94 Jackson Walker Attorneys

The Best Lawyers in America, a widely regarded guide to legal excellence, has recognized 94 Jackson Walker attorneys in its 2018 edition. Best Lawyers listings are based on an exhaustive peer review survey of thousands of attorneys who vote on the legal abilities of others in their practice areas.

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