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Case Name Richards v. FleetBoston Fin. Corp. EE-CT-0015
Docket / Court 3:04-cv-1638 (JCH) ( D. Conn. )
State/Territory Connecticut
Case Type(s) Equal Employment
Special Collection Private Employment Class Actions
Case Summary
On September 30, 2004, former and current employees of FleetBoston Financial Corporation filed a lawsuit under ERISA against FleetBoston in the United States District Court for the District of Connecticut. The Plaintiffs, represented by private counsel, asked the court for declaratory and ... read more >
On September 30, 2004, former and current employees of FleetBoston Financial Corporation filed a lawsuit under ERISA against FleetBoston in the United States District Court for the District of Connecticut. The Plaintiffs, represented by private counsel, asked the court for declaratory and injunctive relief, as well as attorney fees and costs. Plaintiffs claimed that they were negatively impacted when FleetBoston changed its Pension Plan to one based on a cash balance formula.

The Court (Judge Janet C. Hall) granted in part and denied in part Defendant's motion to dismiss on March 31, 2006. The Court dismissed Counts II, III, and VI in their entirety. It further granted the motion to dismiss as to all claims pursuant to ERISA § 503(a)(1)(B). However, the Court denied the motion to dismiss as to the remaining claims in Counts I, IV, and V. Richards v. FleetBoston Fin. Corp., 427 F. Supp. 2d 150 (D. Conn. 2006).

Also on March 31, 2006, the Court certified Plaintiffs' class under 23(b)(2). The class was defined as follows: people who "(a) are former or current Fleet employees who on December 31, 1996 [the day before the Amended Plan's effective date] were not at least age 50 with 15 years of vesting service, and (b) participated in the Fleet Pension Plan before January 1, 1997, and (c) have participated in the Fleet Pension Plan at any time since January 1, 1997." Richards v. FleetBoston Fin. Corp., 235 F.R.D. 165 (D. Conn. 2006).

On July 24, 2006, the Court granted Defendant's second motion to dismiss with respect to Count II and the part of Count V premised on the Summary Plan Description's (SPD) lack of an explanation of how benefit accruals under the plan are reduced by advancing age. The Court denied the motion with respect to the remaining parts of Count V. Richards v. FleetBoston Fin. Corp., 2006 WL 2092086 (D. Conn. Jul. 24, 2006).

On October 16, 2006, the Court granted Plaintiffs' motion for amended class certification and certified the proposed class pursuant to Rule 23(b)(2) and Rule 23(b)(1)(A). Further, the Court denied Defendant's motion to certify the SPD class (Count IV) under Rule 23(b)(2). Richards v. FleetBoston Fin. Corp., 238 F.R.D. 345 (D. Conn. 2006).

Also on October 16, 2006, the Court denied Defendant's motions for a certificate of appealability or for reconsideration of the decision in which the Court refused to dismiss Count I of the Complaint. The Court found that an interlocutory appeal was not appropriate because it would not help to avoid protracted litigation, nor was this an exceptional or rare circumstance. The Court denied the motion to reconsider because it found that the statutory language in question was unambiguous. Richards v. FleetBoston Fin. Corp., 2006 WL 3000768 (D. Conn. Oct. 16, 2006).

The Court preliminarily approved the class settlement between the parties on April 24, 2008. Including attorneys' fees and incentives for class representatives, the total monetary payment to the class totaled $83,401,000.

On October 15, 2008, the Court granted final approval to the settlement and dismissed the case. By a separate order on the same day, the Court granted Plaintiffs' attorneys about $17.5 million in fees and costs. The Court also granted $15,000 to the class representative.

The case was closed in October 2008. There was some later litigation related to bonding issues, but the case is now complete.

Haley Waller - 08/19/2010


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Discrimination-area
Accommodation / Leave
Other Conditions of Employment (including assignment, transfer, hours, working conditions, etc)
Pay / Benefits
Discrimination-basis
Age discrimination
General
Disparate Treatment
Pattern or Practice
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Causes of Action Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), 29 U.S.C. § 1001
Defendant(s) FleetBoston Financial Corporation
Plaintiff Description former or current Fleet employees who on December 31, 1996 were over the age of 50 with 15 years of vesting service, participated in the Fleet Pension Plan before January 1, 1997, and has participated since that date
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Yes
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief Damages
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Order Duration not on record
Case Closing Year n/a
Case Ongoing No
Additional Resources
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Case Studies Megacases, Diversity, and the Elusive Goal of Workplace Reform
Written: Mar. 01, 2008
By: Nancy Levit (University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law)
Citation: 49 B.C. L. Rev. 367 (2008)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  Second Generation Employment Discrimination: A Structural Approach
By: Susan Sturm (Columbia Law School)
Citation: 101 Colum. L. Rev. 458 (2001)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

Docket(s)
3:04-cv-1638 (D. Conn.) 09/30/2004
EE-CT-0015-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
3:04-cv-01638-JCH (D. Conn.) 12/02/2009
EE-CT-0015-9001.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
PLAINTIFF’S MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF MOTION FOR CLASS CERTIFICATION 12/28/2004
EE-CT-0015-0015.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
PLAINTIFF’S MEMORANDUM OF LAW IN OPPOSITION TO DEFENDANTS’ MOTION TO DISMISS 02/28/2005
EE-CT-0015-0014.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
REPLY BRIEF OF DEFENDANTS FLEETBOSTON FINANCIAL CORPORATION AND FLEETBOSTON FINANCIAL PENSION PLAN IN SUPPORT OF THEIR MOTION TO DISMISS 03/28/2005
EE-CT-0015-0012.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
DEFENDANTS’ MEMORANDUM OF LAW IN OPPOSITION TO PLAINTIFF’S MOTION FOR CLASS CERTIFICATION 09/19/2005
EE-CT-0015-0010.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
PLAINTIFF’S REPLY MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF MOTION FOR CLASS CERTIFICATION 11/10/2005
EE-CT-0015-0017.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order 03/31/2006 (427 F.Supp.2d 150) (D. Conn.)
EE-CT-0015-0003.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Order- Class Certification 03/31/2006 (235 F.R.D. 165) (D. Conn.)
EE-CT-0015-0004.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
PLAINTIFF’S MEMORANDUM OF LAW IN SUPPORT OF MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION OF MOTION TO DISMISS 04/17/2006
EE-CT-0015-0016.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
RULING ON DEFENDANTS’ SECOND MOTION TO DISMISS [Doc. No. 128] 07/24/2006 (2006 WL 2092086) (D. Conn.)
EE-CT-0015-0008.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
RULING ON DEFENDANTS’ MOTIONS FOR CERTIFICATE OF APPEALABILITY OR RECONSIDERATION [DOC. NOS. 157 & 159] 10/16/2006 (2006 WL 3000768 / 2006 U.S.Dist.LEXIS 77150) (D. Conn.)
EE-CT-0015-0005.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
RULING ON PLAINTIFF’S MOTION FOR AMENDED CLASS CERTIFICATION [DOC. NO. 155] 10/16/2006 (238 F.R.D. 345) (D. Conn.)
EE-CT-0015-0009.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Second Amended Complaint 12/12/2006
EE-CT-0015-0001.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
PRELIMINARY APPROVAL ORDER 04/24/2008 (D. Conn.)
EE-CT-0015-0018.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum in Support of Incentive Payment 05/28/2008
EE-CT-0015-0013.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order on Class Counsel Fees and Expenses 10/15/2008 (D. Conn.)
EE-CT-0015-0006.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order on Incentive Payment 10/15/2008 (D. Conn.)
EE-CT-0015-0007.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
FINAL ORDER AND JUDGMENT 10/15/2008 (D. Conn.)
EE-CT-0015-0011.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Hall, Janet C. (D. Conn.)
EE-CT-0015-0003 | EE-CT-0015-0004 | EE-CT-0015-0005 | EE-CT-0015-0006 | EE-CT-0015-0007 | EE-CT-0015-0008 | EE-CT-0015-0009 | EE-CT-0015-0011 | EE-CT-0015-0018 | EE-CT-0015-9000 | EE-CT-0015-9001
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Morgado, Dale J (Connecticut)
EE-CT-0015-0013 | EE-CT-0015-9000 | EE-CT-0015-9001
Moukawsher, Thomas G. (Connecticut)
EE-CT-0015-0001 | EE-CT-0015-0013 | EE-CT-0015-0014 | EE-CT-0015-0015 | EE-CT-0015-0016 | EE-CT-0015-0017 | EE-CT-0015-9000 | EE-CT-0015-9001
Smith, Ian (Connecticut)
EE-CT-0015-0001 | EE-CT-0015-0013 | EE-CT-0015-0014 | EE-CT-0015-0015 | EE-CT-0015-0017 | EE-CT-0015-9000 | EE-CT-0015-9001
Defendant's Lawyers Conlon, William F. (Illinois)
EE-CT-0015-0010 | EE-CT-0015-0012 | EE-CT-0015-9000 | EE-CT-0015-9001
Goldberg, Thomas D. (Connecticut)
EE-CT-0015-9000 | EE-CT-0015-9001
Gross, Scott (Illinois)
EE-CT-0015-0010 | EE-CT-0015-0012 | EE-CT-0015-9000 | EE-CT-0015-9001
Guarraci, Brian (Illinois)
EE-CT-0015-0012 | EE-CT-0015-9000 | EE-CT-0015-9001
Harris, Helen (Connecticut)
EE-CT-0015-9000 | EE-CT-0015-9001
Johnson, David Brian (Illinois)
EE-CT-0015-9000 | EE-CT-0015-9001
Kelly, Erin E. (Illinois)
EE-CT-0015-0010 | EE-CT-0015-0012 | EE-CT-0015-9000 | EE-CT-0015-9001 | EE-CT-0015-9001
Kelly, George (Connecticut)
EE-CT-0015-0010 | EE-CT-0015-0012 | EE-CT-0015-9000 | EE-CT-0015-9001 | EE-CT-0015-9001
Koca, Julie (Illinois)
EE-CT-0015-0010 | EE-CT-0015-0012 | EE-CT-0015-9000 | EE-CT-0015-9001
Rea, Anne E. (Illinois)
EE-CT-0015-0010 | EE-CT-0015-0012 | EE-CT-0015-9000 | EE-CT-0015-9001
Twardy, Stanley A. Jr. (Connecticut)
EE-CT-0015-9000 | EE-CT-0015-9001
Other Lawyers Carroll, Keith P. (Massachusetts)
EE-CT-0015-9000 | EE-CT-0015-9001
McGinty, Kevin (Massachusetts)
EE-CT-0015-9000 | EE-CT-0015-9001

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