On December 29, 2004, employees of El Paso Corporation filed a lawsuit under ERISA and the ADEA against their employer in the United States District Court, District of Colorado. The plaintiffs, represented by private counsel, asked the court for declaratory, injunctive, and compensatory relief, ...
read more >
On December 29, 2004, employees of El Paso Corporation filed a lawsuit under ERISA and the ADEA against their employer in the United States District Court, District of Colorado. The plaintiffs, represented by private counsel, asked the court for declaratory, injunctive, and compensatory relief, claiming that changes made to their pension plans violated federal law. Specifically, the plaintiffs claims that their pension plans were negatively impacted when El Paso Corporation changed to a cash balance formula for determining pension benefits.
On March 22, 2007, the Court (Judge Walker D. Miller) dismissed one of Plaintiffs' claims under ERISA (Claim III) but denied Defendant's motion to dismiss on all other claims. The Court found that the statute of limitations did not bar the remaining claims from proceeding. Tomlinson v. El Paso Corp., 2007 WL 891378 (D. Col. Mar. 22, 2007).
On March 19, 2008, the Court granted Defendant's motion for judgments on the pleadings, and granted in part and denied in part Plaintiffs' motion for class certification. The Court dismissed Claims II and IV; as a result, only Claims I and V remained. Claim I alleged that the "wear-away period" in the pension plan violated the ADEA. Claim V alleged that the Summary Plan Description violated ERISA section 102 (29 U.S.C. § 1022). The Court granted Plaintiffs' motion for class certification and conditionally approved the ADEA collective action on the condition that they resubmit a class definition in accord with the Court's dismissal of some of their claims. Tomlinson v. El Paso Corp., 2008 WL 762456 (D. Col. Mar. 19, 2008).
On January 21, 2009, the Court denied Plaintiffs' motion to reconsider the dismissal of Claims II and IV. The Court also granted Defendant's motions for summary judgment on the ADEA claim, holding that it was time-barred because the conversion to a cash balance formula was a "discrete act" under Ledbetter v. Goodyear. Further, the Court dismissed Plaintiffs' remaining ERISA (alleging inadequate notice in the Summary Plan Description) claim because there was no evidence Plaintiffs relied on the Summary Plan Description or that they suffered prejudice because of it. After this decision, Plaintiffs had no remaining claims. Tomlinson v. El Paso Corp., 2009 WL 151532 (D. Col. Jan. 21, 2009).
The Court granted Plaintiffs' motion to alter or amend judgment on August 28, 2009. As a result of the Ledbetter Legislation, the Court decided that Plaintiffs' ADEA claim (Claim I) was not time-barred. Tomlinson v. El Paso Corp., 2009 WL 2766718 (D. Col. Aug. 28, 2009).
Defendants filed a renewed motion for summary judgment on the merits of Claim I, which the Court has not yet decided.Haley Waller - 08/18/2010