Boyd v. Meriter Health Servs. Emp. Ret. Plan, No. 12-2216 (7th Cir. 2012)Annotate this Case
The district court certified a class consisting of more than 4000 participants in the Meriter pension plan who allegedly were not credited with all benefits to which the plan entitled them. Some members received benefits 23 years ago. Some are current, the rest former, participants. The plan has been amended several times, so claims were divided into 10 groups, each of which was certified as a separate subclass having a different representative under Fed. R. Civ. P. 23(b)(2), which authorizes class action treatment if the defendant “has acted or refused to act on grounds that apply generally to the class, so that final injunctive relief or corresponding declaratory relief is appropriate respecting the class as a whole.” Each subclass in the ERISA action seeks a declaration of the rights of its members under the plan and an injunction directing that the plan’s records be reformed to reflect those rights. Admonishing the attorneys for failing to adequately describe the plan, the Seventh Circuit affirmed. The court rejected arguments concerning conflicts of interest among class members and that class members who are no longer participants in the plan are not entitled to declaratory or injunctive relief because such relief is forward looking.