8th Circ. Ruling Creates More Targets For ERISA Suits

Law360 (February 5, 2020, 1:51 PM EST) -- A recent Eighth Circuit decision greenlighting a challenge to Principal Life Insurance Co.'s rate-setting practices took a broad view of ERISA fiduciary liability that could get more companies roped into federal benefits class actions, attorneys say.

In a published ruling issued Monday, the appeals court provided further clarity about an issue that has plagued the courts in recent years: What makes a company or person a “functional fiduciary” under ERISA?

“It’s a significant decision,” said Jerome J. Schlichter, founding partner of the influential ERISA plaintiffs’ firm Schlichter Bogard & Denton LLP. “The court’s holding upholds the principle that control over plan...

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