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Asbestos today, ERISA tomorrow?

St. Louis personal injury firm Schlichter, Bogard & Denton, best known for representing railway workers' claims, has been busy filing class actions over fees in 401(k) plans at "more than a dozen Fortune 500 companies, including General Dynamics, Northrop Grumman, United Technologies, Lockheed, Caterpillar, John Deere, Unisys, Boeing and International Paper." Says one critic: "They won all these asbestos cases and they're looking around for the next area and they found it in the ERISA area." The firm is said to be particularly fond of filing in the Southern District of Illinois, which a reader informs us has agreed in recent weeks to certify cases against Boeing and International Paper.

If plan sponsors thought they could escape the attentions of the class action industry by shifting from defined-benefit to defined-contribution plans, it looks as if they have another think coming.

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Rafael Mangual
Project Manager,
Legal Policy

Manhattan Institute


Published by the Manhattan Institute

The Manhattan Insitute's Center for Legal Policy.