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Argent Trust Loses Arbitration Bid in BBQ Chain Stock Plan Suit

Dec. 6, 2022, 6:38 PM

Argent Trust Co. and executives of WBBQ Holdings Inc. on Tuesday lost their bid to have litigation over the New York barbecue restaurant chain’s employee stock ownership plan sent to arbitration.

The arbitration clause in WBBQ’s stock plan is unenforceable because it attempts to limit the statutory rights plan participants have under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, Judge Denise Cote of the US District Court for the Southern District of New York held. The arbitration clause prohibits representative actions seeking relief on behalf of a plan—which ERISA expressly authorizes—and it prohibits certain procedural remedies explicitly allowed by the ...