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Tucker v. Baptist Health System, Inc., No. 2:15-cv-00382-SLB (N.D. Alabama)

Plaintiff brought this suit on behalf of all participants of the Baptist Heath System, Inc. Retirement Plan (the “Plan”).  Plaintiff alleges that the Plan was underfunded by over $142 million as of the end of 2012 based on standards applicable to retirement plans covered by the Federal Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA).  Defendants are not entitled to rely on the ERISA exemption for “church plans” because Baptist Health, which established the Plan and maintains it, is neither a church nor a convocation of churches.  The Complaint was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Alabama in March of 2015.

On August 26, 2016, the Parties submitted a proposed Settlement to the Court, together with a motion for preliminary approval of the Settlement.  The proposed settlement, if approved, would require Baptist Health to make $11 million in additional contributions to the plan over the next ten years, and further requires defendants to amend the plan document so that its future obligations will be based on up-to-date actuarial data and information.  These changes to the plan would help ensure that the plan does not incur a funding deficit in the future.

On February 10, 2017, the Court granted Plaintiffs’ Motion for Preliminary Approval of the Settlement and set a schedule for final approval (which the Court modified on May 22, 2017, changing the date and time for the Final Fairness Hearing):

  • April 3, 2017:  Deadline for mailing Class Notice
  • May 5, 2017:  Deadline for Plaintiff to file the Motions for Final Approval, Class Certification and Award of Fees and Expenses
  • May 22, 2017: Deadline for Class Members to file objections to the Settlement and/or to request to appear at the Final Fairness Hearing.
  • May 29, 2017: Deadline for Plaintiff to file responses to any objections;
  • June 23, 2017: Final Fairness Hearing to be held at 11:30 a.m. in Courtroom 7B of the Hugo L. Black United States Courthouse, 1729 Fifth Avenue North, Birmingham, Alabama 35203.

A copy of the Court’s Preliminary Approval Order is attached below.  The Class Notice and the Briefs supporting Final Approval, Class Certification and the award of fees and expenses will be attached as soon as they are finalized or filed.

Attach:

Tucker v. Baptist Health COMPLAINT

Motion for Preliminary Approval of Class Action Settlement

Proposed Class Action Settlement Agreement

Preliminary Approval Order

Proposed Order re Fees & Expenses

Plaintiff’s BRIEF ISO Award of Fees & Expenses

Proposed Order re Final Approval

Plaintiff’s BRIEF ISO Final Approval

Joint DECLARATION ISO Motions for Final Approval & For Awards of Fees and Expenses

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