Defending Benefit Fund Trustees and Union Officers

We have successfully defended trustees in a number of cases by participants alleging violations of ERISA. We also have successfully defended civil RICO, LMRA, and LMRDA cases against trustees and union officials. Below are some examples.

Langman v. Laub:  The Second Circuit upheld the district court's dismissal of the lawsuit, finding that break in service rules did not violate the 133 and 1/3% accrual test under ERISA, that the trustees' interpretation of the plan documents was proper, and that no damages were available for an alleged omission in the summary plan description because the plaintiff was not prejudiced. Langman v. Laub, 328 F.3d 68 (2d Cir. 2003).

DeVito v. Local 553 Pension Fund:  The court dismissed allegations that the trustees violated the anti-cutback rule, the accrual requirements, and the suspension of benefits provisions under ERISA, thereby defeating the proposed class action. DeVito v. Local 553 Pension Fund, No. 02 Civ. 4686 (RCC), 2005 WL 167590 (S.D.N.Y. January 26, 2005).

Duane Reade v. Allied Trades Council:  The court dismissed all remaining claims pursuant to LMRA Sections 301 and 302. After pre-motion briefs, we prevailed in persuading the company to withdraw its RICO and LMRA section 301 claims against the union officers. Duane Reade v. Allied Trades Council, No. 04 Civ. 3542 (BSJ), 2005 WL 3038645 (S.D.N.Y. Oct. 7, 2005).

Andrea Doreen v. Building Material Teamsters Local 282:  The court granted summary judgment, dismissing all RICO claims against the trustees. Andrea Doreen v. Building Material Teamsters Local 282, 299 F. Supp.2d 129 (E.D.N.Y. 2004).

Bona v. Barasch:  The court dismissed plaintiffs' RICO and LMRDA claims against the union officers and severely limited ERISA claims against trustees of multiemployer funds. Bona v. Barasch, No. 01 Civ. 2289 (MBM), 2003 WL 1395932 (S.D.N.Y. March 20, 2003).