December 19, 2016

Obtained Major Win in Widely Publicized Class Action

In late July, the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ended a 23-year bid by a retired employee of the world’s largest aerospace company to force the company’s pension plan to retroactively recalculate decades of pension benefits she and other retirees commenced while working. The plaintiff, one of the original “Rosie the Riveters” who riveted planes during WWII, and who recently retired from making C-17s at the age of 95, claimed that her and other participants’ pension benefits had been underpaid since at least 1989. In 2015, Payne & Fears LLP prevailed on a summary judgment motion and a motion for new trial involving technical plan interpretations and ERISA regulations in the federal district court. The plaintiff appealed. After expedited briefing because of the plaintiff’s age, and oral argument, the Ninth Circuit affirmed, ending a case with national publicity because of the plaintiff’s role as the last “Rosie the Riveter.”