Richard J. Pearl

Rick Pearl focuses his practice on litigation involving the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA). He represents companies, their benefits committees, plan administrators, fiduciaries, and service providers in complex, class-action litigation and Department of Labor lawsuits, audits, and investigations.  His particular expertise is with actions for breach of fiduciary duty and prohibited transactions. Read Rick Pearl's full bio. 

Latest Articles

Several large employers are disputing how much money the New York Times owes a union multiemployer pension fund. Recently, six companies—including US Foods Inc. and United Natural Foods Inc.—filed an amicus brief supporting the New York Times in its case before the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. Ruprecht Co., an Illinois meat processor, also filed its own brief in support of the New York Times. Under the Employer Retirement Income Security Act…
A recent Eighth Circuit decision regarding “cross-plan offsetting” serves as an important reminder of how ERISA’s fiduciary duties impact both employers and fiduciaries who handle claims. The case involved the common practice of cross-plan offsetting, which occurs when a claims administrator resolves an overpayment to a provider by refusing to pay that provider for a future claim (or reducing the amount paid for that future claim)—even if the latter claim was made by a participant…
Late last year, the Ninth Circuit held that in order to trigger ERISA’s three-year statute of limitations a defendant must demonstrate that a plaintiff has actual knowledge of the nature of an alleged breach. Accordingly, the court held that merely having access to documents describing an alleged breach of fiduciary duty is not sufficient to cause ERISA’s statute of limitations to begin to run. Instead, the court rejected the standard embraced by other courts and…
What to expect in 2019 and how to prepare now. Join McDermott lawyers Judith Wethall, Ted Becker and Rick Pearl for an interactive discussion regarding ERISA litigation trends. Join our lively 45-minute discussion while we tackle the following items: Plaintiffs’ law firm’s solicitations Health & Welfare Fee Litigation Defined-Benefit Plan Litigation – Actuarial Equivalence lawsuits and greater concern about discretionary decisions Stock-Drop Cases – The Jander decision: Relaxing the Dudenhoeffer standard and the potential impact…
Sponsors and fiduciaries of health and welfare plans should be aware of a recently filed class-action lawsuit against alleged fiduciaries of a health plan. It challenges health-plan fiduciary oversight and reasonableness of fees similar to actions against fiduciaries of defined-contribution retirement plans. The action highlights the importance of establishing and documenting prudent fiduciary processes for making decisions on behalf of health and welfare plans. Access full article.