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Rare Jury Trial Possible in John Hancock Tax Credit ERISA Suit

March 15, 2021, 7:45 PM

An ERISA lawsuit accusing John Hancock Life Insurance Co. of improperly pocketing foreign tax credits that actually belong to the 401(k) plans holding the company’s variable annuity contracts took a rare turn when a federal magistrate judge in Florida ruled that portions of the case could be tried by jury.

Magistrate Judge Jonathan Goodman on March 12 denied John Hancock’s motion to strike the jury trial demand made by the trustees of a law firm 401(k) plan. Some of the relief sought by the lawsuit is legal in nature and thus triable by jury, Goodman said.

Goodman’s ruling follows the ...