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Court Finds ESOP Trustee’s Insurance Excludes Coverage for Defense Against DOL’s ERISA Claims

In bifurcated ESOP litigation centering on ERISA violations, court finds trustee defendants’ professional liability policy expressly excluded coverage for ERISA claims; under language of policy, insurer is not required to defend or indemnify trustee defendants fighting DOL’s ERISA allegations.

Gemini Ins. Co. v. Potts

In bifurcated ESOP litigation centering on ERISA violations, court finds trustee defendants’ professional liability policy expressly excluded coverage for ERISA claims; under language of policy, insurer is not required to defend or indemnify trustee defendants fighting DOL’s ERISA allegations.

Class-Action Litigation Involving ERISA/ESOP Valuation Issues

Join James F. Joyner and attorney Richard Pearl for unique insight into ESOPs and valuation principles. The general trend in ESOP transactions and valuation has been to acquiesce to fundamental changes because of the threat of litigation, even though ERISA or valuation principles do not require changes. Many defendants have been unable to adequately educate courts on some key issues. Get both the valuation and attorney perspective on how to address these issues.

DOL’s Valuation-Related Claims Against Individual Actors Survive Motion to Dismiss

Court denies individual defendants’ motion to dismiss DOL’s claims that defendants breached duties as co-fiduciaries, violated a duty to monitor the co-defendant trustee, and knowingly participated in the trustee’s breaches; DOL’s complaint states sufficient facts to support claims, court finds.

Pizzella v. Reliance Trust Co.

Court denies individual defendants’ motion to dismiss DOL’s claims that defendants breached duties as co-fiduciaries, violated a duty to monitor the co-defendant trustee, and knowingly participated in the trustee’s breaches; DOL’s complaint states sufficient facts to support claims, court finds.

Acosta v. Reliance Trust Co.

In DOL’s overpayment case against company directors and ESOP trustee, court denies directors’ pretrial motion for dismissal of case, finding DOL advanced “plausible” case theories; court also finds ESOP defendants have no right to indemnification from estate of late owner/seller of company shares.

In ‘Overpriced ESOP Insider Transaction Case,’ Defendants’ Pretrial Motion for Indemnification Fails

In DOL’s overpayment case against company directors and ESOP trustee, court denies directors’ pretrial motion for dismissal of case, finding DOL advanced “plausible” case theories; court also finds ESOP defendants have no right to indemnification from estate of late owner/seller of company shares.

Remy v. Lubbock Nat’l Bank

In ESOP case, court finds ERISA provides for right to contribution among co-fiduciaries but finds trustee defendant has no right to contribution from nonfiduciary ESOP appraiser if trustee were found liable to ESOP for losses; court dismisses third-party complaint against ESOP appraiser.

Trustee’s Claim for Contribution Against ESOP Appraiser Collapses

In ESOP case, court finds ERISA provides for right to contribution among co-fiduciaries but finds trustee defendant has no right to contribution from nonfiduciary ESOP appraiser if trustee were found liable to ESOP for losses; court dismisses third-party complaint against ESOP appraiser.

DOL urges court to uphold judgment against trustee in Brundle ESOP litigation

In the ongoing Brundle v. Wilmington Trust ESOP saga, which is now in the appeals stage, the Department of Labor recently filed an amicus brief in support of the district court’s $29.8 million judgment against the ESOP trustee. The case arose out of a plan participant’s claim that the ESOP trustee breached its fiduciary duties to the plan by causing the ESOP to pay more than fair market value for the employer’s stock.

ESOP case alive (for now), but court limits damages testimony under Daubert

In a developing ESOP case, the government recently suffered a setback when the court agreed with the trustee that portions of the damages testimony the government’s expert proposed failed to hold up under the Daubert reliability prong.

ESOP trustee’s failure to vet valuation causes significant overpayment

Inadequate trustee performance was at the center of a recent case, featuring a nontraditional ESOP structure. The court found that, if the trustee had engaged with the underlying valuation, it would have discovered numerous weaknesses and prevented the ESOP from overpaying for the company stock.

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