Withdrawal Liability and Unpaid Contributions

United Mine Workers of Am. 1974 Pension Plan v. Energy W. Mining Co., No. 20-7054, __ F. 4th __, 2022 WL 2568025 (D.C. Cir. Jul. 8, 2022) (Before Circuit Judges Rao, Walker, and Sentelle). 

We have rarely selected a withdrawal liability case as the Case of the Week, but this decision from the D.C. Circuit siding, with a mining company that withdrew from a multiemployer defined benefit pension plan, is an interesting exception.
Continue Reading The D.C. Circuit Rules That Past is Prologue in Withdrawal Liability Dispute

This week’s notable decision, Pension Benefit Guar. Corp. v. 50509 Marine LLC, No. 19-14968, __ F.3d __, 2020 WL 6882698 (11th Cir. Nov. 24, 2020), published two days before Thanksgiving, should have been issued a month earlier, during the Halloween season, as it addresses a frightening issue: can a zombie corporation operate an ERISA-governed pension plan? The creepy answer: it can!

The facts of the case stretch back to the 1990s, when an electrical supply company called Liberty Lighting Company filed for bankruptcy under Illinois law. Liberty was administratively dissolved, and its assets surrendered to creditors. Liberty’s owner, Joseph Wortley, also filed for bankruptcy, and all his assets, including his stock in Liberty, were surrendered to a trustee. However, Wortley continued to act as the administrator of Liberty’s pension plan, signing papers on behalf of the plan to effectuate benefit payments, among other activities.
Continue Reading Eleventh Circuit Holds Members of Controlled Group of Dissolved Corporation May be Liable for Pension Plan Termination Liabilities