Justia Communications Law Opinion SummariesArticles Posted in ERISA
Stoffels, et al. v. SBC Communications, Inc., et al.
Plaintiffs brought an enforcement suit against defendants under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, 29 U.S.C. 1001-1461. Plaintiffs alleged that defendants' practice of offering reimbursements for telephone services to retirees who lived outside of defendants' service region constituted a "pension plan" under ERISA. Judge Rodriquez was assigned to the claims at issue here and to Boos v. AT&T, a case involving similar claims. After ruling that the concession at issue in Boos was not a pension plan under ERISA, Judge Rodriquez reconsidered Judge Justice's interlocutory order with respect to plaintiffs' claims in this case. He concluded that the program of retirement benefits was not a pension plan under ERISA and he then entered a final judgment. Because the court concluded that Judge Rodriquez did not abuse his discretion by revising Judge Justice's interlocutory order, the court affirmed the judgment of the district court. View "Stoffels, et al. v. SBC Communications, Inc., et al." on Justia Law
Boos, et al. v. AT&T, Inc., et al.
Plaintiffs brought an enforcement suit against defendants under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 ("ERISA"), 29 U.S.C. 1001-1461. At issue was whether the district court properly granted summary judgment in favor of defendants, concluding that defendants' practice of offering discounted telephone services to employees and retirees ("Concession") was not a pension plan in whole or in part. The court affirmed summary judgment and held that the district court did not err in holding that Concession was one plan, at least as it regarded to all retirees; in refusing to examine the out-of-region retiree Concession in isolation; in concluding that although Concession did provide income to some retirees, such income was incidental to the benefit, and was not designed for the purpose of paying retirement income; and in holding that Concession did not result in a deferral of income. View "Boos, et al. v. AT&T, Inc., et al." on Justia Law