Tibble v. Edison International, No. 10-56406 (9th Cir. 2013)Annotate this Case
Beneficiaries sued Edison under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), 29 U.S.C. 1001 et seq. Beneficiaries claimed that their pension plan had been managed imprudently and in a self-interested fashion. The court rejected both parties' timeliness arguments and affirmed the district court's application of ERISA's six-year limitations period. Because the DOL's interpretation of how the safe harbor functions were consistent with the statutory language, the court concluded that the district court properly decided that section 404(c) of Title I of ERISA did not preclude merits consideration of beneficiaries' claims. The court reserved the question of whether the Ninth Circuit should adopt a rule akin to that articulated in Spano v. Boeing Co. regarding class action certification. On the merits, the court was satisfied that revenue sharing as carried out by Edison did not violate ERISA; Edison did not violate its duty of prudence by including several investment vehicles in the Plan menu; but Edison had been imprudent in deciding to include retail-class shares of three specific mutual funds in the Plan menu.
The court issued a subsequent related opinion or order on August 1, 2013.