Catholic Health East (“CHE”)

Chavies v. Catholic Health East
United States District Court for the District of Maryland
Case No. 16-1417

Case Overview

Plaintiffs allege that Catholic Health East (“CHE”), a Pennsylvania non-profit corporation that operates hospitals in 11 states, is improperly claiming an exemption from the federal Employee Retirement Income Security Act (“ERISA”) for its pension plans.  Defendants claim that the CHE pension plans (“CHE Pension Plans”) are “church plans” and thus are not subject to ERISA regulation.

Plaintiffs allege a number of reasons why the CHE Pension Plans cannot properly claim an exemption from ERISA as church plans, including that the entities that established the CHE Pension Plans are not churches or conventions or associations of churches, as ERISA requires.

Plaintiffs allege that Defendants are violating ERISA, a federal law, by, among other things:

  • underfunding the CHE Pension Plans;
  • failing to furnish Plaintiffs or any member of the proposed Class with a Pension Benefit Statement, Summary Annual Reports, Notification of Failure to Meet Minimum Funding, or Funding Notices; and
  • failing to file an annual report with respect to the CHE Pension Plans with the Secretary of Labor.

Case Status

The case was transferred to the United States District Court for the District of Maryland and consolidated with the Trinity case for settlement purposes.  The Honorable Peter J. Messitte granted final approval of the settlement on May 31, 2017.