AT&T Success Stories



Barnes v. AT & T Pension Benefit Plan-Nonbargained Program


Participant in pension benefit plan, on behalf of himself and all others similarly situated, brought Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) cause of action alleging failure to pay benefits due. The District Court, granted participant's motion to amend complaint to add two more causes of action for failure to provide adequate notice of reasons for benefit denial and violation of anti-cutback provision. Participant moved for class certification of causes of action for failure to pay benefits and violation of anti-cutback provision.


Motions Granted commonality prerequisite was met;typicality prerequisite was met; adequacy prerequisite was met;class action was maintainable on ground that prosecuting separate actions would create risk of inconsistent or varying adjudications or adjudications that would be dispositive of or would substantially impair or impede nonparties' interests;class action was maintainable on ground that party opposing class had acted or refused to act on grounds that applied to generally to class so final injunctive or declaratory relief was appropriate regarding class as whole; and class definition had to be modified to limit potential class solely to individuals who, upon their first retirement, elected to receive discounted Accelerated Transition Benefit (ATB) as lump sum, but was not otherwise imprecise or overbroad


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