Tuesday, November 13, 2007
The Legal Information Institute (LII) of Cornell Law School is reporting that
oral argument has been set in the ERISA remedies case of LaRue v. DeWolff,
Boberg & Assoc. (06-856) for Monday, November 26th (the Monday after the
At stake, the scope of remedies available in the 401(k) plan context under ERISA Sections 502(a)(2) and 502(a)(3). LII writes:
James LaRue, an employee of the management consulting firm DeWolff, Bobert & Associates, sued his employer for improper management of his 401(k) pension plan. Under DeWolff's pension plan, LaRue could choose among a variety of investment options for his individual account. In his suit, LaRue alleged that DeWolff failed to follow his investment instructions. LaRue sued under sections 502(a)(2) and 502(a)(3) of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA).
The Fourth Circuit held that neither section authorized LaRue's claim because it was an individual claim and because LaRue sought compensatory damages. LaRue argues that his claim benefits the plan as a whole rather than himself individually, and that he seeks equitable relief rather than compensatory damages. The outcome of this case will determine whether an individual can use these provisions to sue an employer for improper management of a pension fund.