Employee Benefits News examines legal developments that impact the employee benefits and executive compensation employers provide, including federal and state legislation, rules from federal...
Two former American Airlines Inc. workers want a federal court in Texas to let them proceed as a class in their lawsuit challenging how the airline managed their retirement savings.
The workers are seeking class status for at least 20,000 participants in the retirement plan whose accounts were invested in an affiliated credit union fund with very low returns that often failed to keep up with inflation, according to court documents filed April 23 in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas.
At issue in the case is American’s decision to include in the plan a credit union fund that allegedly performed like a low-interest checking account. American allegedly used more than $1 billion in plan assets invested in the credit union fund as working capital to make investments and provide loans and other services to its customers, for which it earned substantial profits, the workers said.
The class certification request comes five months after Judge John McBryde refused to dismiss the lawsuit, holding that the former workers had sufficiently pleaded their claims. In 2016, McBryde rejected an $8.8 million proposed settlement that would have ended the dispute. The amount may be “inadequate” because the ex-workers may have lost out on as much as $88 million in expected returns over the past six years, he said.
The airline allegedly failed to consider an adequate investment option, such as a stable value fund, that would have provided far higher returns to them with no increase in risk, the ex-workers said. If American had chosen an ordinary stable value fund, plan investors would have earned tens of millions of dollars in additional investment returns over the class period, which runs from February 2010 until the end of 2015, the workers allege.
Schneider Wallace Cottrell Konecky Wotkyns LLP and Friedman Suder & Cooke PC represent the participants. Kelly Hart & Hallman LLP and O’Melveny & Myers LLP represent American.
The case is Ortiz v. Am. Airlines, Inc., N.D. Tex., No. 4:16-cv-00151-A, motion for class certification 4/23/18.
All Bloomberg BNA treatises are available on standing order, which ensures you will always receive the most current edition of the book or supplement of the title you have ordered from Bloomberg BNA’s book division. As soon as a new supplement or edition is published (usually annually) for a title you’ve previously purchased and requested to be placed on standing order, we’ll ship it to you to review for 30 days without any obligation. During this period, you can either (a) honor the invoice and receive a 5% discount (in addition to any other discounts you may qualify for) off the then-current price of the update, plus shipping and handling or (b) return the book(s), in which case, your invoice will be cancelled upon receipt of the book(s). Call us for a prepaid UPS label for your return. It’s as simple and easy as that. Most importantly, standing orders mean you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you’re relying on. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.960.1220 or by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Put me on standing order at a 5% discount off list price of all future updates, in addition to any other discounts I may quality for. (Returnable within 30 days.)
Notify me when updates are available (No standing order will be created).
This Bloomberg BNA report is available on standing order, which ensures you will all receive the latest edition. This report is updated annually and we will send you the latest edition once it has been published. By signing up for standing order you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you need. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.372.1033, option 5, or by sending us an email to email@example.com.
Put me on standing order
Notify me when new releases are available (no standing order will be created)