Ninth Circuit Finds ERISA Fiduciary Duty Claims Not Arbitrable

But decision leaves open many questions . . . With the Supreme Court’s Epic Systems decision laying to rest many of the primary arguments used to avoid arbitration, case law continues to develop regarding how arbitration may apply for claims under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA). [We blogged the Epic Systems decision here.] It isn’t all that surprising that the Ninth Circuit would hold that certain types of ERISA claims might not be arbitrable, but its July 24, 2018, decision in Munro v. University of Southern California, Case No. 17-55550, may represent something more than that court’s traditional hostility toward arbitration provisions. The Munro case was a fairly typical ERISA dispute over the fees and investment options offered by two university-sponsored plans, with the participants and beneficiaries contending generally that the fees were unnecessarily high. Significantly, these claims were characterized as being brought…

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