Presence Health Network

Carver v. Presence Health Network, Case No. 15-2905
United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois

Case Overview

Plaintiffs alleged that Presence Health Network, an Illinois non-profit corporation that began operating a chain of hospital and healthcare facilities in Illinois in 2011 as a result of a merger of two non-profit healthcare networks, was improperly claiming that its defined benefit pension plans, the Resurrection Health Care Retirement Plan and the Provena Health Employees’ Pension Plan (the “Presence Plans”), are exempt from the federal Employee Retirement Income Security Act (“ERISA”), a federal law, pursuant to a statutory exemption for “church plans.”

Plaintiffs alleged a number of reasons why the Presence Plans do not qualify as ERISA-exempt church plans, including that Presence Health Network is not controlled by or associated with a church and that the Plans do not satisfy the statutory requirement that a church plan be maintained by either a church or by a church-associated organization whose “principal-purpose” is the funding of administration of benefit plan for church employees.

Plaintiffs alleged that Defendants violated ERISA, and that the exemption from ERISA, as applied to the Presence Plans, is an unconstitutional violation of the Establishment Clause.

Case Status

On July 10, 2018, the Honorable Harry D. Leinenweber entered an Order and Final Judgment approving the Settlement.  For additional information regarding the Settlement, please visit the Settlement website.

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