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Case: Employee Stock Ownership Plans/Equitable Estoppel (9th Cir.)

June 8, 2021, 1:40 PM

A trustee for the Anaplex Corp. employee stock ownership plan can sue the widow of a former trustee who allegedly sold his company stock to the plan at an inflated price, the Ninth Circuit ruled, saying that application of equitable estoppel to block the lawsuit would contradict the clear terms of an ERISA plan document. The Ninth Circuit followed the Fourth Circuit’s limited view of equitable estoppel under ERISA. Equitable estoppel claims are viable in the ERISA context only when a litigant shows extraordinary circumstances, ambiguous plan terms, and representations that are an interpretation of the plan, the court said. ...

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