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From Roger Baron: AZ federal court refuses to freeze assets held by plan participants so as to support ERISA plan’s claim for equitable relief

Reprinted with permission from Roger Baron

The ERISA Plan in Blood Systems v. Roesler, No. CV-11-02133-PHX-ROS, (U.S.Dis. Az., 11/2/12) sought a TRO and Preliminary Injunction freezing assets held by plan participants and their attorneys.  This court previously granted summary judgment for the attorneys.  This decision denies the plan’s requested TRO and Preliminary Injunction sought against the plan participants.  The Court acknowledges that pursuant to Sereboff, Knudson and 9th Circuit law, the plan “must show the plan participant still possess[es] the funds.”  Nonetheless, the Court is not sympathetic to the plan’s claim that “failure to freeze assets” will likely undermine its ability to seek equitable relief.  As to the plan’s argument that “public interest in stable ERISA group health plans will be undermined,” the court states,

In light of the circumstances here, this public interest is not jeopardized. The public interest is not furthered by allowing plans to freeze a participant’s general assets without support the participant possesses the funds.

To view the court’s ruling, click HERE


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