Architecture Firm Gets Labor Dept.'s ERISA Suit Tossed

By Rachel Stone (September 20, 2021, 3:52 PM EDT) -- A Hawaii federal court has sided with an architecture firm after a five-day bench trial, tossing out a U.S. Department of Labor lawsuit that claimed an employee stock ownership plan overpaid for company shares and ruling that federal benefits law hadn't been violated.

U.S. District Judge Susan Oki Mollway issued an order Friday rejecting the DOL's allegations that Brian Bowers and Dexter Kubota, who owned the Oahu-based Bowers + Kubota Consulting Inc. and handled its ESOP, flouted their duty under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act to look out for the workers.

"That the government had suspicions and opened an investigation...

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