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ERISA - Employee Benefits Litigation

Laura D. Windsor Williams Mullen Headshot

The Williams Mullen Employee Benefits Litigation Team offers sophisticated and interdisciplinary solutions to clients faced with the complex challenges of employee benefits litigation. Williams Mullen’s employee benefits litigators have many years of experience representing private employers in litigation arising under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (“ERISA”) and other employee benefits legislation.

ERISA Attorneys with State and Federal Court Experience
Our Employee Benefits Litigation Team includes attorneys who are experienced defending benefit, breach of ERISA fiduciary duty and prohibited transactions claims in state and federal courts. In addition, we have represented parties in mediations and arbitrations involving employee benefits claims and helped employers establish sound administrative claims processes. In appropriate cases, we have also represented individuals and companies with employee benefits claims.

Our team includes employee benefits, tax and labor and employment attorneys, all skilled litigators. Depending on the particular issues involved, our team will assemble the most appropriate lawyers and support personnel to bring about the best result possible for your situation.

Representative Experience

  • Enforced a multinational corporation's contractual rights against a former CEO who improperly sought pension benefits under an ERISA pension plan, a foreign pension plan and a U.S. nonqualified pension arrangement. 
  • Defended plan sponsor/plan administrator bank in arbitration on claim for severance plan benefits. 
  • Defended bank sued as plan trustee in a civil case arising from a dispute over termination of real estate fund and distribution of cash from that fund.
  • Represented retirement plan participants in a civil case against plan fiduciaries for fiduciary breach and prohibited transactions. 
  • Defended Fortune 500 corporation in a civil case for garnishment of plan benefits. 
  • Defended plan trustees against claims in a civil case by a terminated employee for alleged breach of fiduciary duty. 
  • Defended a major media corporation against ERISA disability benefit claims. 
  • Represented recovery agent in a civil case for subrogation claim on behalf of health insurance benefit plan, to recover funds paid out to plan participant. 
  • Defended plan trustees in a civil case against a claim of stock price for sale of stock to an employee stock option plan (ESOP). 
  • Defended companies for claims for multi-employer plan withdrawal liability payments. 
  • Defended plan administrator against a claim of improper payment of medical benefits not subject to “stop loss” reimbursement. 
  • Defended large national insurer in a civil case against a claim under an accidental death and dismemberment benefits plan. 
  • Regularly defending employers and third-party claims fiduciaries against claims under medical benefit and disability benefit plans. 
  • Extensive experience counseling and representing individual plan participants in civil cases for claims for medical benefits or disability benefits.
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National Federation of Independent, Community-based and Locally Operated Companies that Collectively Provide Healthcare Coverage for Americans

  • Defended insurance company in employee benefits dispute over coverage for a governmental employee benefits plan.


  • Represented individual involved in a wrongful termination of employee benefits under ERISA case.

Benefits Plan Administrator

  • Defended plan administrator in ERISA action.

Docking Pilots

  • Represented two docking pilots, who were participants in a union pension plan, in a suit against the union, its plan and plan fiduciaries.

Local Physician Practice

  • Defended a physician practice sued by a former non-doctor employee.  Plaintiff brought claims against the employer, Plan Administrator and two retirement plans alleging the Plaintiff was entitled to several hundred thousand dollars more in contributions, and was entitled to recover $3M in civil penalties against the Plan Administrator for failure to provide copies of requested plan documents.

National Maker and Vendor of Specialty Products for Industry

  • Defended our client company's benefits plan and plan administrator when the mother of a deceased employee of our client company sued for death benefits, disputing the son's final designation of his estranged wife as his beneficiary. 

National Federation of Independent, Community-based and Locally Operated Companies that Collectively Provide Healthcare Coverage for Americans

  • Defended health care insurer for coverage of autologous bone marrow transplant under a plan sponsored through the Federal Employee Health Benefits Act (FEHBA).

International Manufacturer and Distributor of Tires and Rubber Products

  • Defended a client against claims brought by a hospital that sued following the Plaintiff's treatment of client's employee when benefits under client's medical plan were refused on the grounds of an exclusion for unlawful activity.

International Paper Products Manufacturer

  • Defended a paper products manufacturer that was sued for severance benefits by four of its former management-level employees.