742 Fed.Appx. 846 (5th Cir. 2018), 18-60130, Jones v. Singing River Health Services Foundation

Docket Nº:18-60130
Citation:742 Fed.Appx. 846
Opinion Judge:PER CURIAM
Party Name:Thomas JONES, on behalf of themselves and others similarly situated; Joseph Charles Lohfink, on behalf of themselves and others similarly situated; Sue Beavers, on behalf of themselves and others similarly situated; Rodolfoa Rel, on behalf of themselves and others similarly situated; Hazel Reed Thomas, on behalf of themselves and others...
Attorney:James Robert Reeves, Jr., Esq., Matthew Gerard Mestayer, Reeves & Mestayer, P.L.L.C., Biloxi, MS, George W. Finkbohner, III, Attorney, Steven L. Nicholas, Esq., Lucy Elizabeth Tufts, David George Wirtes, Jr., Esq., Cunningham Bounds, L.L.C., Mobile, AL, for Plaintiffs-Appellees Jason R. Scheidere...
Judge Panel:Before HIGGINBOTHAM, DENNIS, and COSTA, Circuit Judges.
Case Date:August 06, 2018
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
 
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Page 846

742 Fed.Appx. 846 (5th Cir. 2018)

Thomas JONES, on behalf of themselves and others similarly situated; Joseph Charles Lohfink, on behalf of themselves and others similarly situated; Sue Beavers, on behalf of themselves and others similarly situated; Rodolfoa Rel, on behalf of themselves and others similarly situated; Hazel Reed Thomas, on behalf of themselves and others similarly situated, Plaintiffs-Appellees

v.

SINGING RIVER HEALTH SERVICES FOUNDATION; Singing River Health System Foundation; Singing River Hospital System Foundation, Incorporated; Singing River Hospital System Employee Benefit Fund, Incorporated; Singing River Hospital System; Transamerica Retirement Solutions Corporation; KPMG, L.L.P.; Michael J. Heidelberg; Michael D. Tolleson; Tommy Leonard; Lawrence H. Cosper; Morris G. Strickland; Ira Polk; Stephen Nunenmacher; Hugo Quintana; Gary C. Anderson; Stephanie Barnes Taylor; Michael Crews; Singing River Health System; Allen Cronier; Martin Bydalek; William Descher; Joseph Vice; Eric Washington; Marva Fairley-Tanner; Grayson Carter, Jr., Defendants-Appellees

v.

Cynthia N. Almond, Interested Party-Appellant

Regina Cobb, on behalf of themselves and others similarly-situated; et al, Plaintiffs

v.

Singing River Health System; Board of Trustees for The Singing River Health System; Michael J. Heidelberg, in their individual and official capacities; Michael D. Tolleson, in their individual and official capacities; Allen L. Cronier, in their individual and official capacities; Tommy L. Leonard, in their individual and official capacities; Lawrence H. Cosper, in their individual and official capacities; Morris G. Strickland, in their individual and official capacities; Ira S. Polk, in their individual and official capacities; Stephen Nunenmacher, in their individual and official capacities; Hugo Quintana, in their individual and official capacities; Marva Fairley-Tanner, in their individual and official capacities; William C. Descher, in their individual and official capacities; Joseph P. Vice, in their individual and official capacities; Martin D. Bydalek, in their individual and official capacities; Eric D. Washington, in their individual and official capacities; G. Chris Anderson, in their individual and official capacities; Kevin Holland, in their individual and official capacities, Defendants-Appellees

v.

Cynthia N. Almond, Interested Party-Appellant

Martha Ezell Lowe, individually and on behalf of a class of similarly situated employees, Plaintiff

v.

Singing River Health System; Transamerica Retirement Solutions Corporation; KPMG, L.L.P.; Gary Anderson; Michael Crews; Michael Tolleson; Stephanie Barnes Taylor; Morris Strickland; Tommy Leonard, Defendants-Appellees

v.

Cynthia N. Almond, Interested Party-Appellant

No. 18-60130

United States Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit

August 6, 2018

UNPUBLISHED

Editorial Note:

Please Refer Federal Rule of Appellate Procedure Rule 32.1. See also U.S.Ct. of App. 5th Cir. Rules 28.7 and 47.5.

Page 847

[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi USDC No. 1:14-CV-447

James Robert Reeves, Jr., Esq., Matthew Gerard Mestayer, Reeves & Mestayer, P.L.L.C., Biloxi, MS, George W. Finkbohner, III, Attorney, Steven L. Nicholas, Esq., Lucy Elizabeth Tufts, David George Wirtes, Jr., Esq., Cunningham Bounds, L.L.C., Mobile, AL, for Plaintiffs-Appellees

Jason R. Scheiderer, Dentons US, L.L.P., Kansas City, MO, Brett Keith Williams, Esq., Dogan & Wilkinson, P.L.L.C., Pascagoula, MS, Alexander Kelly Sessoms, III, Esq., Dogan & Wilkinson, P.L.L.C., Pascagoula, MS, for Defendants-Appellees Singing River Health Services Foundation, Singing River Health System Foundation, Singing River Hospital System Foundation, Incorporated, Singing River Hospital System Employee Benefit Fund, Incorporated, Singing River Hospital System, Singing River Health System, Board of Trustees for the Singing River Health System, Ira Polk, Grayson Carter, Jr.

Brett Keith Williams, Esq., Dogan & Wilkinson, P.L.L.C., Pascagoula, MS, Alexander Kelly Sessoms, III, Esq., Dogan & Wilkinson, P.L.L.C., Pascagoula, MS, for Defendants-Appellees Michael J. Heidelberg, Allen Cronier, Tommy Leonard, Lawrence H. Cosper, Morris G. Strickland, Marva Fairley-Tanner, Kevin Holland

John L. Hunter, Pascagoula, MS, for Defendant-Appellee Michael D. Tolleson

John Anderson Banahan, Bryan, Nelson, Schroeder, Castigliola & Banahan, Pascagoula, MS, for Defendants-Appellees Stephen Nunenmacher, William Descher, Joseph Vice, Martin Bydalek, Eric Washington

Stephen Giles Peresich, Attorney, Page, Mannino, Peresich & McDermott, P.L.L.C., Biloxi, MS, for Defendant-Appellee Hugo Quintana

Roy D. Campbell, III, Esq., Bradley Arant Boult Cummings, L.L.P., Jackson, MS, for Defendant-Appellee Gary C. Anderson

Patricia A. Gorham, Amelia Toy Rudolph, Eversheds Sutherland (U.S.), L.L.P., Atlanta, GA, Robert David Kaufman, Brunini, Grantham, Grower & Hewes, P.L.L.C., Biloxi, MS, Taylor B. McNeel, Brunini, Grantham, Grower & Hewes, P.L.L.C., Biloxi, MS, for Defendant-Appellee KPMG, L.L.P.

Donald Claire Dornan, Jr., Esq., Dornan Law Office, P.L.L.C., Gulfport, MS, for Defendant-Appellee Michael Crews

Pieter Teeuwissen, Esq., Pieter Teeuwissen, Esq., P.L.L.C., Jackson, MS, for Defendant-Appellee Stephanie Barnes Taylor

Ashley Eley Cannady, Esq., Armin J. Moeller, Jr., Balch & Bingham, L.L.P., Jackson, MS, for Defendant-Appellee Transamerica Retirement Solutions Corporation

William Harvey Barton, II, Trial Attorney, Barton Law Firm, P.L.L.C., Pascagoula, MS, Earl Lamar Denham, Denham Law Firm, P.L.L.C., Ocean Springs, MS, for Interested Party-Appellant

Before HIGGINBOTHAM, DENNIS, and COSTA, Circuit Judges.

Opinion

PER CURIAM [*]

Page 848

Singing River Health System (SRHS) is a not-for-profit health system with approximately 2,400 employees.[1] In 1983, SRHS created the Employees’ Retirement Plan and Trust (the "Plan"), a defined benefits pension fund.2 By its own terms, the Plan could be modified or terminated at any time.3 Since 2008, the Plan has required employees to contribute three percent of their salary, while SRHS has "the sole responsibility for making the [actuarially determined] contributions necessary to provide benefits under the Plan."4

From 2009 to 2014, SRHS "failed to make all but one of its contributions needed to maintain the Plan’s fiscal integrity."5 In November 2014, the Board decided to freeze and liquidate the Plan. Certain SRHS retirees immediately sought injunctive relief in the Jackson County Chancery Court, which ordered SRHS not to terminate the Plan. As a result of that order, the Plan was "frozen," meaning that no new contributions came in, but benefit payments continued to go out. In August 2015, the Chancery Court held...

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