Tag Archives: Fiduciary Duty

En Banc Court Overturns Prior ERISA Decision

Yesterday, the Sixth Circuit issued its en banc decision in Rochow v. Life Insurance Company of North America, No. 12-2074.   The original panel decision (which we previously discussed here) held that an ERISA plaintiff could recover under Section 502(a)(3), which allows for “appropriate equitable relief,” in addition to receiving his benefits under Section 502(a)(1)(B).  The … Continue Reading

Sixth Circuit Rejects Director’s Arguments that Effective Termination Extinguished his Fiduciary Duties to Corporation

In Petroleum Enhancer, LLC v. Woodward (Case No. 11-1167)(pdf), the Sixth Circuit reversed a district court’s decision to grant summary judgment on Polar Molecular Holding Corporation’s (Polar Holding) breach of fiduciary duty claim against one of its directors and its civil conspiracy claim against individual third-party defendants.  However, the Sixth Circuit affirmed the trial court’s … Continue Reading

Court Parts Company with Sister Circuits on Presumptions at Pleading Stage of ERISA Suits

In a case echoing from the high-profile automobile bankruptcies of recent years, a panel of the Sixth Circuit recently considered Rule 12(b)(6) dismissal of a class action alleging breach of fiduciary duty under ERISA as to two retirement plans for certain General Motors employees.  In Pfeil v. State Street Bank & Tr. Co. (6th Cir., … Continue Reading

When Is An ERISA Plan Administrator An ERISA Plan Administrator?

Only when it is acting as such.  That, at least, is the answer from the Sixth Circuit in DeLuca v Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan (pdf), which affirmed the grant of summary judgment of a putative ERISA class-action.  The defendant Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michican (BCBSM), Michigan’s biggest insurer with 4.3 million members, … Continue Reading

Knowledge Is Power — Or At Least Triggers the ERISA Statute of Limitations

The Sixth Circuit continues to liberally define the “actual knowledge” required to trigger the 3-year ERISA statute of limitations and, in doing so, affirmed summary judgment in favor of the defendants in Brown v. Owens Corning Investment Review (Case No. 09-3692). The Court confirmed its earlier rejection in Wright v. Heyne, 349 F.3d 321 (6th Cir. 2003) of the … Continue Reading