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In re First Am. Corp. Erisa Litig.

United States District Court for the Central District of California

July 27, 2009, Decided; July 27, 2009, Filed

CASE NO: SACV 07-1357 JVS (RNBx)

Opinion

 [*614]  ORDER RE MOTION TO CERTIFY CLASS AND FOR REVIEW OF MAGISTRATE JUDGE'S MINUTE ORDER

Plaintiffs Denise Rogers ("Rogers"), Jennifer Easton ("Easton"), and David Hillert ("Hillert") (collectively, the "Plan Participants")  [*615]  seek class certification pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23. Defendants The First American Corporation ("First American"), et al. (collectively, the "First American Defendants") oppose, and move the Court to reverse Magistrate Judge Robert N. Block's (the "Magistrate Judge's") March 25,  [**4] 2009 Minute Order (the "Minute Order") as to certain requests for production, or, alternatively, to stay the Minute Order. The Plan Participants' motion for class certification is DENIED, and the First American Defendants' motion to reverse the Minute Order is GRANTED IN PART AND DENIED IN PART.

I. Background

The Plan Participants are participants in or beneficiaries of the First American 401(k) retirement savings plan (the "Plan"), which is an "employee pension benefit plan" within the meaning of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act ("ERISA"). The Plan is a defined contribution plan, in which participants have individual accounts and select their investment fund from a variety of available options.

The Plan Participants' consolidated complaint rests on the theory that the First American Defendants breached their fiduciary duties under ERISA by failing to prudently and loyally manage the Plan's investment in the First American common stock fund (the "Fund") by, inter alia, (1) continuing to offer the Fund as a Plan investment option when it was imprudent to do so; (2) maintaining the Plan's preexisting heavy investment in the Fund when First American stock was no longer a prudent  [**5] investment; and (3) investing the Plan's assets in the Fund when First American stock was not a prudent investment.

The Plan Participants primarily seek relief under ERISA § 502(a)(2), 29 U.S.C. § 1132(a)(2), which permits a plan participant to bring an action under ERISA § 409, 29 U.S.C. § 1109. Section 409 provides that a plan fiduciary who breaches his duty shall be personally liable to "make good to such plan any losses to the plan resulting from each such breach . . . ." 29 U.S.C. § 1109(a).

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258 F.R.D. 610 *; 2009 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 72188 **

IN RE FIRST AMERICAN CORP. ERISA LITIGATION

Prior History: In re First Am. Corp. ERISA Litig., 2009 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 53427 (C.D. Cal., June 10, 2009)

CORE TERMS

plan participant, documents, fiduciary, stock, Defendants', class certification, class member, fiduciary duty, imprudent, certification, discovery, breached, investigations, requests, damages, prudent, Reply, proposed class, parties, district court, adjudications, agencies, incompatible, commonality, quotation, certify, losses, marks, individual class member, class representative

Pensions & Benefits Law, Civil Litigation, Causes of Action, Breach of Fiduciary Duty, ERISA, Class Actions, Standing, Fiduciaries, Fiduciary Responsibilities, General Overview, Civil Procedure, Special Proceedings, Class Actions, Certification of Classes, Prerequisites for Class Action, Judicial Discretion, Justiciability, Standing, Numerosity, Commonality, Typicality, Defenses, Demurrers & Objections, Affirmative Defenses, Adequacy of Representation, Remedies, Damages, Employee Benefit Plans, Pension Benefit Plans, Defined Contribution Plans, Judicial Officers, Magistrates, Pretrial Referrals