Monday, June 18, 2007

Supreme Court Grants Review of LaRue ERISA Case

4united_states_supreme_court_112904 The Supreme Court this morning has decided to review yet another ERISA remedies case (here's the Order list).  As discussed previously, the Solicitor General had recommended that the Supreme Court take a look at the case of LaRue v. DeWolff, Boberg & Associates , 06-856.  The oral argument should be around December.

Here's what I said before about this interesting ERISA case:

The specific question presented is whether Section 502(a)(2) permits a participant to bring an action to recover losses attributable to his account in a defined contribution plan that were caused by fiduciary breach.  At issue is what is the definition of "any losses to the plan" under Section 409 and does a breach of fiduciary duty that leads to the reduction in value of a participant's individual account plan qualify as a loss to the plan, or as the Fourth Circuit held below, is that only a loss to the individual.

I'm with the petitioners on this one and agree with the well written amicus brief by seven law professors who argue persuasively that, "that the diminution in value of the interest of an individual account holder in a defined contribution plan is, by definition, a loss to the plan and, therefore, remediable under 502(a)(2)."

As Amy Howe of SCOTUSBlog points out, also at issue is:

[W]hether an action by a plan participant against a fiduciary to recover losses caused by a breach of duty seeks “equitable relief” for purposes of ERISA Section 502(a)(3).

I am not naive enough believe that the Court will do much about clearing up the Serbonian bog that is the equitable scope of remedial relief under Section 502 of ERISA, but here's hoping.


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Tracked on Jun 18, 2007 12:54:10 PM


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