Court Upholds Keller Rohrback’s ERISA Claims Against CNA Financial Corporation, Northern Trust Company and Others for Cancelling 401k Plan Interest Guarantee

 

August 24, 2017

Keller Rohrback L.L.P. and co-counsel represent the Plaintiff in Dolins v. Continental Casualty Co., et al., a class action lawsuit filed against Continental Casualty Company, Continental Assurance Company, CNA Financial Corporation, the Investment Committee of the CNA 401(k) Plus Plan, and Northern Trust Company, in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.  The Dolins complaint is on behalf of a proposed class of participants in and beneficiaries of the CNA 401(k) Plus Plan (the “Plan”), who had invested some or all of their Plan Accounts in the CNA Fixed Income Fund (the “CNA Fund”).  The CNA Fund was invested in large part through a contract between the Plan and Continental Assurance Company that guaranteed that the rate of interest credited to the CNA Fund would never drop below 4% per year.  The complaint alleges the Plan fiduciaries’ decision to cancel this contract was imprudent and harmed the Plaintiff and the class members because without this guarantee, the CNA Fund earned a lower rate of return on its assets.  The complaint also alleges that the decision to end the contract was made for the benefit of CNA Financial Corporation and its subsidiaries, and not the plan participants.

On August 18, 2017, the Court issued an order upholding nearly all of Plaintiff’s claims, noting that based on the allegations in the complaint, “cancellation of the interest rate guarantee was . . . inexplicable in light of the interest rate and market environment at the time.”  According to Keller Rohrback partner Jeff Lewis: “We believe that Defendants made the decision to cancel the minimum floor contract in order to benefit CAC, a CNA subsidiary, rather than the Plan’s participants and beneficiaries, in violation of ERISA.  We are pleased that the case will now move forward and we look forward to pursuing relief on behalf of our client and the class he seeks to represent.”

For more case specific details click HERE.

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Keller Rohrback is a pioneer in litigation under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA).  Keller Rohrback’s lawyers have worked tirelessly to shape ERISA law, so that the statute protects the interests of participants and beneficiaries, rather than their employers and service providers.  Keller Rohrback’s ERISA team is part of the firm’s Complex Litigation Group.  With offices in Seattle, Phoenix, New York, Montana, Oakland, and Santa Barbara, Keller Rohrback L.L.P. serves as plaintiff’s counsel in individual and class actions throughout the country. Our Complex Litigation Group is proud to offer its expertise to clients nationwide, and our trial lawyers have obtained judgments and settlements on behalf of clients in excess of eighteen billion dollars.

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