Cases & Deals

Halliburton successfully defends against claims in ERISA class action

Client(s) Halliburton Company

Jones Day obtained a dismissal with prejudice on behalf of its client, Halliburton Company, of a complaint filed by a putative class that alleged that pension benefits were incorrectly calculated in a frozen pension plan, maintained by Halliburton, relating to a divested joint venture. The plaintiffs alleged various violations of ERISA, including that Halliburton breached its ERISA fiduciary duties and that benefits were illegally cut back. On June 9, 2011, Senior Judge John T. Curtin of the United States District Court for the Western District of New York granted Halliburton's motion for judgment on the pleadings, and dismissed the entire complaint with prejudice. The Court found that plaintiffs had failed to exhaust their administrative remedies, that their fiduciary breach claims were not independent of their benefit claims and therefore subject to dismissal, and that -- as a matter of law -- the actions complained of did not constitute a violation of ERISA's anti-cutback rule.

Kirkendall v. Halliburton, No. 17-03487 (2d Cir.); Kirkendall, et. al. v. Halliburton, Inc., et al., No. 1-07-cv-00289 (W.D.N.Y.)