Burge Argues for Fifth Circuit Intervention in Ongoing ERISA Case
September 9, 2022
Partner Jason Burge argued for the reversal of a lower court’s ruling, which barred intervention in an Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) class action brought against BP North America, before a U.S. Fifth Circuit panel on Aug. 31, 2022. The plaintiffs, 280 former Standard Oil of Ohio (SOHIO) Heritage employees and current pensioners led by retiree Michael Press and represented by Fishman Haygood, argued that the class representatives in the recently certified class do not adequately represent their claims. As quoted in Law360, Burge said his clients will be “forced to give up independent prosecution of their claims” if the court chooses not to intervene. Click here to read more on Law360.
Press and the other former SOHIO employees seek to recover funds promised but never provided after BP America acquired SOHIO and converted the defined benefit plan. Their mass action suit argues that BP America and BP plc promised that their benefits under the new plan would be at least as good as under the old plan, but in fact their benefits sere significantly reduced by the plan conversion. U.S. Circuit Judges Carolyn Dineen King, Stuart Kyle Duncan, and Kurt D. Engelhardt sat on the panel; their decision is expected within the next few months.
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