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SCOTUS Urged to Dump Northwestern’s ‘Get-Out-of-ERISA-Free’ Card

Sept. 7, 2021, 2:53 PM

The U.S. Supreme Court should reject “draconian” pleading standards that block retirement plan participants from using federal benefits law to challenge overly expensive plan investment options, a Northwestern University plan participant told the court in a new brief.

The brief, filed Sept. 3 by Northwestern plan participant April Hughes, urges the court to reverse a 2020 decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit that rejected Hughes’ claims under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act. The Seventh Circuit imposed unreasonably high pleading standards on ERISA claims challenging plan fees, and a more permissive standard would further ERISA’s ...

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