Eric Serron has more than 25 years of experience assisting clients with ERISA litigation and fiduciary responsibility issues.
Eric regularly provides advice and counsel to clients regarding their obligations under Title I of ERISA, including compliance with ERISA's fiduciary responsibility provisions and prohibited transaction rules. He has extensive experience litigating cases involving alleged breaches of fiduciary duty in the management or administration of defined contribution plans (including 401(k) plans, profit sharing plans, and ESOPs), defined benefit plans, and welfare plans. He also represents clients in cases raising questions of ERISA preemption of state law.
Prior to joining Steptoe, Eric served as a trial attorney in the Plan Benefits Security Division of the Office of the Solicitor, US Department of Labor. In that capacity, he was responsible for representing the Secretary of Labor in complex fiduciary breach cases under ERISA at both the trial and appellate levels.
Eric is an adjunct professor in the LLM program at Georgetown Law and speaks frequently on employee benefits matters.
- District of Columbia
- Hon. Barbara B. Crabb, US District Court, Western District of Wisconsin, 1984-1985
- J.D., University of Wisconsin Law School, 1984, cum laude; Note and Comment Editor, Wisconsin Law Review
- M.A., University of Wisconsin, 1983, History
- B.A., University of Wisconsin, 1979
Muri v. National Indemnity Co., 2019 WL 2513694 (D. Neb. 2019) – Summary judgment dismissal of putative class action against 401(k) plan fiduciary asserting fiduciary breach claims based on the failure to remove an allegedly "risky" mutual fund from the investment menu available to participants.
Soehnlen v. Fleet Owners Insurance Fund, 844 F.3d 576 (6th Cir. 2016) – Dismissal of putative class action asserting ERISA, LMRA and state law breach of contract law claims against multiemployer welfare plan and its trustees based on alleged violations of the Affordable Care Act. The Sixth Circuit affirmed the dismissal on constitutional standing, ERISA standing and preemption grounds, among others.
Skin Pathology Assocs. v. Morgan Stanley & Co., 2014 US Dist. LEXIS 26154 (S.D.N.Y. Feb. 24, 2014) – Dismissal of putative class action alleging that a non-fiduciary service provider violated ERISA by participating in a prohibited transaction with a 401(k) profit sharing plan.
Pharmaceutical Care Management Association v. District of Columbia, 613 F.3d 179 (DC Cir. 2010) – Appellate victory on behalf of trade association, holding that ERISA preempted portions of a District of Columbia law seeking to impose fiduciary standards and disclosure obligations on pharmacy benefit managers (PBM) in performing administrative services for ERISA-covered plans.
In Re Honda of America Mfg. Inc. ERISA Fees Litigation, 661 F. Supp. 2d 861 (S.D. Ohio 2009) – Dismissal of putative class action alleging that the defendant fiduciaries of the company's 401(k) plan breached ERISA fiduciary duties by choosing investment options that charged excessive fees.
Glanton v. AdvancePCS, Inc., 465 F.3d 1123 (9th Cir. 2006) – Dismissal of a putative class action brought by participants against a leading PBM alleging ERISA breach of fiduciary duty claims, for lack of constitutional standing. The Ninth Circuit affirmed the dismissal, and the Supreme Court subsequently denied certiorari.
AdvancePCS v. Bauer, 632 S.E.2d 95 (Ga. 2006) – Decision by Georgia Supreme Court ordering dismissal on ERISA preemption grounds of a putative nationwide class action alleging that a PBM unjustly enriched itself at the expense of health plan participants by "misclassifying" a generic drug as a brand name drug in assessing copayments due under the plans.
Unaka Co., Inc. v. Newman, 2005 US Dist. LEXIS 43660 (E.D. Tenn. April 26, 2005) – Successful defense of claims against former members of a profit sharing plan's administrative committee who were alleged to have breached their fiduciary duties by failing to consummate a sale of the plan's employer stock to another shareholder in the midst of a contest for control over the company.
Cal. Ironworkers Field Pension Trust v. Loomis Sayles & Co., 259 F.3d 1036 (9th Cir. 2001) – Successful defense of ERISA fiduciary breach claims against investment manager based on investment of plan assets in complex mortgage derivatives.
"Update and Trends in Fiduciary Cases," ABA Joint Committee on Employee Benefits's Fiduciary Institute 2017, Washington, DC, November 6, 2017
"What Does the DOL Rule Mean for the Rest of the Business," SIFMA, March 20, 2017
"Remedies: Appropriate Equitable Relief Under ERISA After Montanile," American Conference Institute, October 27, 2016
"Implementing the DOL Fiduciary Rule: Understanding the Best Interest Contract Exemption, Neutral Factors, and the Sale of Complex Products," SIFMA, June 16, 2016
"Implementing DOL's Fiduciary Rule 2016," SIFMA, May 11, 2016
"Prohibitions on Individual Recovery, Anti-Cutback Lawsuits, Fiduciary Breach Claims, and More," American Conference Institute, March 2, 2016
"Understanding the New DOL Fiduciary Proposal and its Implications for the Insurance Industry and its Customers," ACLI, July 16, 2015
"ESOP Litigation: Defending Against New and Emerging Claims and Assessing Recent Developments," ACI National Forum on ERISA Litigation, April 13, 2015
"Developments in Savings and Retirement Plans," SIFMA C&L Annual Seminar, March 17, 2015
News & Publications
January 14, 2020
Employee Benefit Plan Review
January 2, 2020
September 12, 2019
August 15, 2019
August 14, 2019
June 21, 2019
June 12, 2019
June 5, 2019
April 29, 2019
April 19, 2019
- Fellow, American College of Employee Benefits Counsel
- Chambers USA, ERISA Litigation, Nationwide (2016-2019)
- Legal 500 US, Leading Lawyer, Labor & Employment: ERISA Litigation (2017-2019)
- Legal 500 US, Labor & Employment: ERISA Litigation (2009-2016, 2019)
- Legal 500 US, Labor & Employment: Employee Health and Retirement Plans (2017-2019)
- Best Lawyers in America, Employee Benefits (ERISA) Law (2013-2020)
- Best Lawyers in America, ERISA Litigation (2012-2020)
- Super Lawyers, Washington, DC, Employee Benefits (2016-2019)
- Legal 500 US, Labor & Employment: Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation (2015)
- Trial Attorney, Plan Benefits Security Division, Office of the Solicitor, US Department of Labor