Providence Health & Services

Griffith v. Providence Health & Services, Case No. 14-1720
United States District Court for the Western District of Washington

Case Overview

In this pension plan lawsuit filed by Keller Rohrback and Co-Counsel, Plaintiffs allege that Defendants are violating the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (“ERISA”), a federal law, by, among other things:

  • under-funding and failing to follow ERISA’s funding rules for the defined benefit pension plan (“Providence Health & Services Cash Balance Retirement Plan,” also commonly known as the “Core Plan”);
  • failing to furnish Plaintiffs or any member of the proposed Class with Pension Benefit Statements, Summary Annual Reports, Notifications of Failure to Meet Minimum Funding, or Funding Notices;
  • failing to file annual reports with respect to the Core Plan with the Secretary of Labor; and
  • failing to meet the requirements regarding the trust that holds the assets of theCore Plan.

Plaintiffs further allege that Defendants’ claim that the Providence Core Plan is exempt from ERISA’s protections because it is a “church plan” is improper because Providence Health & Services is not a church or a convention or association of churches, and because the Providence Plan was not established by a church or a convention or association of churches.

Case Status

On March 21, 2017, the Honorable John C. Coughenour granted Final Approval of the Settlement.  The Settlement is now Final.  After the Court granted final approval of the Settlement, the Parties needed to perform some unanticipated research and engage tax experts to ensure proper treatment of the payments to the Group II class members.  As a result, the checks to Group II class members have not yet been mailed. Pursuant to a recently approved Minute Order, checks to Group II class members will be mailed by July 21, 2017.

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