Seventh Circuit Ruling Against Northwestern University Clarifies Pleading Standard for ERISA Fiduciary Duty Claims

On March 23, 2023, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, on remand from the Supreme Court, explained how the “plausibility” pleading standard of Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544 (2007), and Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662 (2009), should be applied to breach of fiduciary duty claims under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act. The Court’s ruling reversed and remanded claims the district court had dismissed alleging Northwestern University violated ERISA by imprudently administering Northwestern’s two defined contribution 403(b) retirement plans.

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Miller Shah LLP Finalizes $12.5M Settlement with Universal Health Services

On March 30, 2023, U.S. District Judge Mark Kearney granted final approval of a $12.5 million settlement reached in a class action lawsuit against Universal Health Services, Inc. The Settlement resolves allegations that Defendants mismanaged the Universal Health Services, Inc. Retirement Savings Plan, to the detriment of over 60,000 Plan participants and beneficiaries.

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J&J Anti-Inflammatory Medication Swells Consumer Prices

On March 15, 2023, the Honorable Karen Marston of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania granted final approval of a $39.8 million settlement to resolve antitrust claims against Johnson & Johnson alleging that the company launched its “Biosimilar Readiness Plan” to block health care providers from purchasing competitor products of its infliximab biosimilar, Remicade.

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Judge Grants Final Approval to $33 Million Settlement in Salmon Anti-Trust Suit

On February 27, 2023, the Honorable Rodney Smith of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida granted final approval of a $33 million settlement to resolve anti-trust claims brought against Norwegian salmon farming companies Mowi ASA, Grieg Seafood ASA, Ocean Quality AS, Salmar ASA, Cermaq, and Lerøy Seafood USA Inc. The settlement received Preliminary Approval on October 6, 2022.

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Sutter Health ERISA Plaintiffs Overcome Motion to Dismiss

On February 9, 2023, the Honorable Jennifer L. Thurston of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of California determined that class action claims alleging breaches of fiduciary duties under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act survived the motion to dismiss filed by Sutter Health and the Retirement Benefits Investment Committee of Sutter Health. 

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New England Energy Provider Cannot Preclude a Jury Trial

On December 7, 2022, United States District Judge Janet C. Hall of the District of Connecticut partially denied the Motion to Strike Plaintiffs’ Jury Demand filed by New England energy provider Eversource Energy Company, finding that Defendants cannot preclude a jury trial against 11,000 former and current participants in the Eversource 401(k) Plan.

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