LAWRENCEVILLE, N.J., April 24, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Robert L. Lakind and Arnold C. Lakind of the law firm of Szaferman, Lakind, Blumstein & Blader, P.C., recently represented plaintiffs, participants in Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, (ERISA) 401(k) plans, in an excessive fee claim against John Hancock Life Insurance Company (U.S.A.). John Hancock had argued that plaintiffs were precluded from suing unless they first demanded that their employers, plan trustees, sue John Hancock and, if unwilling, joined them in the action. In a precedential opinion, the firm convinced the Third Circuit Court of Appeals that sections 502(a)(2) and a(3) of ERISA contain no preconditions on a participant's right to bring a civil action to remedy a fiduciary breach.
If the law firm had not won this case, than participants in retirement plans that wished to sue service providers for impermissible acts would have faced what may have been an insurmountable hurdle. The Court of Appeals agreed with the Plaintiffs and found that ERISA Section 502(a) does not require 401(k) plan participants to make a pre-suit demand on their employer or join their employer as parties to a case.
Robert Lakind, one of the attorneys who represented the Plaintiffs stated: "We are very pleased with the result. It ensures that participants in 401(k) plans will continue to receive the protections that are afforded to them under ERISA."
The law firm of Szaferman, Lakind, Blumstein & Blader, P.C., has a sophisticated ERISA practice that assists clients in dealing with issues related to both retirement and health plans. Recently, the firm was also successful in convincing a large health insurance company to make a substantial reimbursement to its client for prescription drug medication for which it had repeatedly refused to pay.
Szaferman, Lakind, Blumstein and Blader, P.C. (www.szaferman.com) is a Mercer County, New Jersey based law firm with a broad range of practice areas including Litigation, Business, Family, Personal Injury and Environmental law.
SOURCE Szaferman, Lakind, Blumstein and Blader, P.C.