Affirming Class Action Victory for Pension Plan on Appeal

The California Third District Court of Appeal recently affirmed dismissal of a class action brought against our client, the San Joaquin County Employees’ Retirement Association (SJCERA) in Allum v. San Joaquin County Emples. Ret. Ass'n, 2021 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 3984.

In 2019, we obtained summary judgment from the trial court on all claims in a $200 million class action lawsuit brought against SJCERA and its Board of Retirement by a certified class of nearly 1,800 SJCERA retirees. Plaintiffs claimed that the SJCERA Board had violated a settlement agreement by failing to allocate sufficient “excess earnings” of the trust fund to an account designed to fund a special benefit to members of the class. On motion for summary judgment, the court found that the plaintiffs’ claims lacked merit because, among other things, the Board’s actions were actuarially sound and consistent with its fiduciary duty to adequately fund the entire retirement plan for the benefit of all plan participants. The court also found that the plaintiffs’ claims were barred by the statute of limitations. On appeal, the appellate court affirmed the trial court decision and upheld dismissal of the entire action.

(For complete details on the prior case, see Winning Big for SJCERA in Defense Against $200 Million Class Action Lawsuit.)

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