BLF attorneys Richard L. Bazelon and Michael F.R. Harris represented fourteen 401(k) plans in a case against the securities firm (AIG) whose registered agent had pleaded guilty to fraud and then filed for bankruptcy.
Defendant counterclaimed against the Plan's Trustees for contribution and other relief. On behalf of the Plans and the Trustees, BLF moved to dismiss the counterclaims, which were based on state law, on the ground that they were preempted by ERISA.
In January, 2011, the United States District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee dismissed the counterclaims against the trustees, noting that there was no controlling authority supporting AIG's counterclaims. The Plans subsequently obtained a favorable settlement on their claims against AIG. 401K Plans v. AIG, No. 3:09-cv-00724 (M.D. Tenn. 2011).