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Ramos v. Banner Health

United States District Court, D. Colorado

April 10, 2019

LORRAINE M. RAMOS, et al., Plaintiffs,
v.
BANNER HEALTH, et al., Defendants.

          ORDER GRANTING MOTION TO STRIKE JURY DEMAND

          William J. Martinez, United States District Judge

         Plaintiffs Lorraine M. Ramos and others (“Plaintiffs”) bring this lawsuit against Defendant Banner Health and several of its officers (collectively, “Banner”) and Jeffrey Slocum & Associates, Inc. (“Slocum”) (together, “Defendants”) alleging violations of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (“ERISA”), 29 U.S.C. §§ 1101 et seq., by way of mismanagement of the Banner employee 401(k) plan (the “Plan”). (ECF No. 118.) Plaintiffs' complaint includes a demand for a jury trial under Rule 38 and the United States Constitution. (Id. ¶ 158.) Currently before the Court is Defendants' Motion to Strike Plaintiffs' Jury Demand (the “Motion”). (ECF No. 339.) For the reasons discussed below, the Motion is granted.

         I. BACKGROUND

         Plaintiffs claim that Defendants breached their fiduciary duties under ERISA by providing imprudent investment options and allowing the Plan to pay excessive administrative and recordkeeping fees. (ECF No. 339 at 8; ECF No. 340 at 1.) Plaintiffs assert claims under certain subsections of ERISA's civil enforcement provisions, ERISA § 502(a), 29 U.S.C. § 1132(a). Subsection (a)(3) allows a plan participant, beneficiary, or fiduciary to enjoin any act or practice that violates ERISA's enforcement provisions or the terms of the plan, or to obtain “other appropriate equitable relief.” 29 U.S.C. § 1132(a)(3). Subsection (a)(2) permits a participant, beneficiary, or fiduciary “to seek appropriate relief under [ERISA § 409, 29 U.S.C. § 1109], ” which in turn provides that any fiduciary who breaches its responsibilities, obligations, duties “shall be personally liable to make good to such plan any losses to the plan resulting from each such breach, and to restore to such plan any profits of such fiduciary which have been made through use of assets of the plan by the fiduciary.” 29 U.S.C. §§ 1109(a), 1132(a)(2).

         Plaintiffs' prayer for relief asks the Court to:

• find Defendants “personally liable to make good to the Plan all losses to the Plan resulting from Defendants' breaches of fiduciary duties or prohibited transactions, and to otherwise restore the Plan to the position it would have occupied but for the breaches of fiduciary duty, ” mirroring the language of ERISA § 409(a);
• find that Defendants breached their fiduciary duties;
• determine the method by which to calculate losses to the Plan;
• have Defendants provide any accounting necessary to provide the Plan with complete remedies;
• order Defendants to disgorge all sums of money received from their use of assets of the Plan;
• impose a constructive trust on funds that unjustly enriched Defendants;
• remove fiduciaries who have breached their duties or enjoin them from future breaches of ERISA;
• surcharge against Defendants and in favor of the Plan all amounts involved in any ...

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