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U.S. Supreme Court Declines to Hear USC’s Appeal in Case Handled by Schlichter Bogard & Denton

On February 19, 2019, the United States Supreme Court denied certiorari in an ERISA case, preserving the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal’s decision that plaintiffs did not have to arbitrate their claims. The plaintiffs in the case, represented by Schlichter Bogard & Denton, allege among other things that the University of Southern California allowed excessive fees to be charged to the participants in its retirement plans and kept underperforming and overpriced investment options in the plans’ lineup.

The Ninth Circuit’s decision held that the dispute falls outside the arbitration agreements that USC employees signed because the parties consented only to arbitrate claims brought on their own behalf and the employees’ claims were brought on behalf of the ERISA plans. As a result of the decision, the litigation’s discovery phase will continue to proceed in federal court.

“What we have found is that some, but certainly not all universities, have operated for decades as if they’re not covered by the law that requires them to act for the sole benefit of their employees,” said Jerome Schlichter, managing partner of Schlichter Bogard & Denton.

Coverage of this story may be found here, here, and here. For additional information about Schlichter Bogard & Denton’s ERISA and Financial Abuse practice, please contact Schlichter Bogard & Denton at 1-800-873-5297 or sbd@uselaws.com.