Significant Cases

Summary Judgment in Multi-Million Dollar Class Action Pension Case in Georgia

Ben Mathis, Robert Marcovitch and Bill Buechner recently obtained summary judgment on behalf of Hall County in a class action pension lawsuit brought in the Superior Court.  In the lawsuit, Plaintiffs sought over $100 million…

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Ben Mathis, Robert Marcovitch and Bill Buechner recently obtained summary judgment on behalf of Hall County in a class action pension lawsuit brought in the Superior Court.  In the lawsuit, Plaintiffs sought over $100 million dollars in seeking to overturn the County’s decision in 1998 to transition from a defined benefit plan to a defined contribution plan.  Plaintiffs and their counsel have claimed that the named plaintiffs and a class of more than 100 current or former County employees they sought to represent were entitled to recover lost contributions and profits. 

The County initially obtained summary judgment, but the ruling was vacated in part by the Georgia Court of Appeals with instructions for the Superior Court to consider certain issues on remand.  Although Plaintiffs asserted that a trial was required because of the appellate ruling, the Court was persuaded by the arguments that the County still was entitled to summary judgment.  Among other rulings, the Court rejected the Plaintiffs’ argument that the freeze of accruals in the defined benefit plan constituted a termination of the defined benefit plan (thereby triggering notice and hearing obligations) even though the defined benefit plan has continued to operate up to the present.   

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