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Sacerdote v. New York Univ.

United States District Court for the Southern District of New York

February 13, 2018, Decided; February 13, 2018, Filed

16-cv-6284 (KBF)

Opinion

OPINION & ORDER

KATHERINE B. FORREST, District [*3]  Judge:

This lawsuit, commenced in 2016, alleges that New York University ("NYU") violated various provisions of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 ("ERISA"), 29 U.S.C. § 1001 et seq. Specifically, plaintiffs allege that NYU breached its fiduciary duty in maintaining its two employee retirement plans, the New York University Retirement Plan for Members of the Faculty, Professional Research Staff, and Administration ("Faculty Plan") and the NYU School of Medicine Retirement Plan for Members of the Faculty, Professional Research Staff and Administration ("Medical Plan") (collectively, the "Plans"), both of which are defined contribution, individual account, employee pension benefit plans. The instant action is one of a number of cases filed in district courts across the country by the same counsel alleging that university pension plans, known as "403(b) plans," typically with significant assets, have not been managed prudently or for the exclusive purpose of providing benefits to participants and their beneficiaries, in violation of ERISA.

There are seven named plaintiffs in this action: Dr. Alan Sacerdote, Dr. Herbert Samuels, Mark Crispin Miller, Patrick Lamson-Hall, Marie E. Monaco, Dr. Shulamith [*4]  Lala Straussner, and James B. Brown. Sacerdote is a clinical professor at the NYU School of Medicine. (ECF No. 39, Am. Compl. ¶ 19.) Samuels is a professor of pharmacology and a professor of medicine at the NYU School of medicine. (Id. ¶ 20.) Miller is a professor of media, culture, and communication at NYU. (Id. ¶ 21.) Lamson-Hall is an adjunct instructor and research scholar at NYU Stern Urbanization Project. (Id. ¶ 22.) Monaco is an associate professor in the department of neuroscience and physiology at NYU School of Medicine. (Id. ¶ 23.) Straussner is a professor of social work at NYU. (Id. ¶ 24.) Brown is an associate professor at NYU's Tisch School of Arts. (Id. ¶ 25.) Sacerdote, Samuels, and Monaco are participants in the Medical Plan, while Miller, Lamson-Hall, Strassuner, and Brown are participants in the Faculty Plan. (Id. ¶¶ 19-25.)

These seven named plaintiffs seek to represent a putative class of at least 20,000 individuals, defined as follows:

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2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 23540 *; 2018 WL 840364

DR. ALAN SACERDOTE, et al., Plaintiffs, -v- NEW YORK UNIVERSITY, Defendant.

Prior History: Sacerdote v. N.Y. Univ., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 137115 (S.D.N.Y., Aug. 25, 2017)

CORE TERMS

Plans, class member, Options, Faculty, named plaintiff, class certification, fiduciary, breached, alleged breach, Medicine, funds, fiduciary duty, recordkeeping, Retirement, adequacy, Staff, member of the class, class action, adjudications, plaintiffs', argues, breach of fiduciary duty, class representative, actual knowledge, proposed class, invested, alleges